Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has filed lawsuit on Monday against a former French minister who accused him of doping. Nadal reiterated he has never taken performance enhancing drugs and fed up of accusations made without any evidence.

Nadal, who is widely regarded as the greatest clay-court player in history, said the lawsuit was filed as he needs to defend his integrity and image as an athlete. Nadal remarked a defamation suit was filed in Paris by his lawyers against Roselyne Bachelot, France’s former minister for health and sport, because of her “offensive remarks” last month on French television.

Bachelot said on the TV show Le Grand 8 that the seven-month injury hiatus of Nadal in 2012 was “probably due to a positive doping test.” The ex-minister made the comments in the wake of the failed doping test of Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova. The remarks of Bachelot upset Nadal and outraged Spaniards, including many fellow athletes who were quick to speak up in defense of Nadal. Bachelot was also loudly criticized by the Spanish Olympic Committee and members of the Spanish government.

Toni Nadal, Nadal’s coach and uncle, called Bachelot “an imbecile,” according to Spanish news media. Toni Nadal said his nephew Rafa has passed multiple drug tests every year and is committed to competing in a clean sport. Toni added Rafa’s lawyer is working to take all possible measures and with maximum force and also remarked in this world, instead of proving the guilt of a person, you have to prove your innocence. The coach of Rafael said Rafa goes through many doping controls every year even though he has done nothing and will do nothing wrong.

Alejandro Blanco, the president of Spain’s Olympic committee, remarked he would like Rafael Nadal to be the country’s flag bearer at the Rio de Janeiro Games, in part to make a statement after accusations by Bachelot. Nadal was previously selected as the flag bearer of Spain for the 2012 London Olympics but missed the Games because of an injury.

One of Spain’s biggest sports idols, Nadal is a 14-time Grand Slam champion and the gold medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

In a statement, Rafael Nadal said he intends not only to defend his integrity through this case and his image as an athlete but also the values he has defended his entire career. Nadal added he also wishes to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished. Nadal, currently ranked world No. 5, also commented that any compensation awarded by the judge if he wins the case will be paid to a non-governmental organization or foundation in France. Nadal also said he asks for total respect regarding the legal procedure just started and would like to express my complete trust in the French justice system that will be judging the legal case and commented he will not be making any further statement about the case.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Rafael Nadal Sues French Official For Doping Allegation

Comments

comments