The parents of Madeleine McCann have denounced as "outrageous" suggestions that they gave her sedatives — one of the theories that has emerged to explain the disappearance of the British girl.

"It is ludicrous," Gerry McCann, accompanied by his wife, Kate, told Spain's Antena 3 television station in their first TV interview since being named suspects in the case in September.

"It is outrageous," he added, according to an excerpt from the interview that were posted on Antena 3's Web site. The full interview was to be broadcast later Wednesday.

Some media reports have indicated Portuguese police suspect Madeleine's parents may have accidentally given her an overdose of sedatives, then disposed of her body. Gerry and Kate McCann have repeatedly dismissed the suggestion.

Portuguese police have declined to comment because Portugal's secrecy laws forbid detectives from speaking about ongoing investigations.

Madeleine McCann vanished May 3, a few days before her fourth birthday, from her family's hotel room during a vacation in Portugal's Algarve region.

One of the theories that has emerged in the Portuguese press is that Madeleine accidentally died of an overdose of sedatives administered by her parents before they went out to dinner with friends at the hotel.

After initially focusing on the possibility that she was abducted from her hotel room, police switched their focus to her parents when forensic tests conducted at a government laboratory in Britain found evidence that DNA from Madeleine was in the trunk of a rental car the parents used after her disappearance.

Police named the parents as formal suspects. They have returned to their home in Britain.