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Tuesday 26, Apr 2016

  Rafael Nadal Sues French Official For Doping Allegation

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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.

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Thursday 16, May 2013

  Nadal Criticizes Ruling To Destroy Doping Evidence

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Nadal Criticizes Ruling To Destroy Doping Evidence

Rafael Nadal of Spain has criticized the decision to destroy evidence in the doping scandal of his country.

Dr Eufemiano Fuentes was recently convicted for his role in supplying blood transfusions to cyclists but a Spanish court ordered 211 blood bags to be destroyed without analysis. The doctor received a suspended sentence of one year for endangering public health and has claimed that he has worked with tennis players as well as runners, footballers, and boxers.

Nadal said the ruling was not positive for anyone and the only ones that benefited were those who cheated and the ones that are hurt are Spanish athletes and sports in general. The former world number one, who has won 11 grand slams, also remarked the image this transmits to the world isn’t the one we were hoping for and said he thinks it is a mistake that the names (of Fuentes’ clients) are not known, but that is what happened. Nadal also remarked that we will keep working so that sports stay clean and this doesn’t happen again in the future.

Britain’s Andy Murray had had already questioned the outcome of the case and tweeted, “Why would court order blood bags to be destroyed? #coverup.”

Murray criticized Spanish officials for their handling of the Operation Puerto trial, asking if they could be guilty of the “biggest cover-up in sports history”. “Case is beyond a joke,” tweeted Murray. He said it was essential that anyone who was involved should be named and remarked if one in 100 is doping then, in my eyes, that isn’t a clean sport and we need to do everything we can to ensure we have everyone that’s competing at the highest level and below is clean. He went on to add that he knows what goes in his body and he knows from his side that he is clean, so that’s all he can comment on.

Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria denied access to anti-doping authorities and international sports bodies that wanted to analyze the bags to see whether they implicate athletes in sports other than cycling; Santamaria ordered that the bags be destroyed.

The International Tennis Federation announced in March this year that it was to implement an Athlete Biological Passport program under which biological data will be collected and compared to spot discrepancies over time that suggest possible doping. This announcement came in the wake of questions raised by some of the sport’s top players about existing drug-testing procedures that focused mainly on urine tests.

A statement issued by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), on the Fuentes case, said it hopes this is not the end of the matter and it reads that access to this evidence motivated WADA’s involvement in this case and this would ensure appropriate sports sanction processes against the cheats who used Dr Fuentes’ services. The statement reads the court did consider that his conduct was a crime against public health. Dick Pound, the former head of WADA, added that it’s embarrassing for Spain and everybody knows we will be able to uncover quite a bit more doping if the examples are made available.

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