Rafael Nadal sues former French sports minister for €100,000 over doping allegations

Paris: Rafael Nadal is seeking €100,000 ($118,000) in damages from former French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot after she accused the Spanish tennis legend of a dope test cover-up.

Nadal is suing Bachelot, who served as sports minister between 2007 and 2010, over remarks in March 2016 on French television.

Rafael Nadal in action. AP

Rafael Nadal in action. AP

She alleged that Nadal faked an injury in 2012, when he missed the final six months of the season due to knee problems, in order to hide a positive drug test.

Neither Nadal nor Bachelot were at the court hearing in Paris on Friday.

The player's lawyer, Patrick Maisonneuve, told the court that the doping accusation could have had "major consequences" for Nadal concerning his "existing or future sponsors".

Maisonneuve said his client had "asked me to put to bed once and for all what Mrs Bachelot said by passing on to you his medical file" which he said revealed a very serious left knee injury.

Bachelot's lawyer Olivier Chappuis argued that at fault was the International Tennis Federation's anti-doping programme, which he claimed "has always been astonishingly lax".

He added: "There is a vast gap between the success he enjoys and the weakness of anti-doping controls.

"What sponsor has abandoned Rafael Nadal because of these comments? None," he claimed, suggesting the court award symbolic damages to Nadal if his client is found guilty of one euro.

The 16-time Grand Slam winner has never failed a drugs test and vehemently denies ever using a banned substance.

After Bachelot's accusation, Nadal explained last year why he was taking legal action against her.

"I am tired about these things. I let it go a few times in the past. No more." He added that he expected better of a person who was "minister of a big country and a great country like France".

"If somebody like her, who should be serious, can say this stupid stuff then now is the moment to say, 'OK, from now everybody who is going to speak of this kind of stuff with no proof then I'm going to do the same and take legal action against that person.'

"I know how much I did to be where I am, and I know 100 percent my values."

A verdict is expected on 16 November.


Updated Date: Oct 14, 2017 12:52 PM

Also Watch

Watch: The true stories from Dharavi that inspired Rajinikanth's Kaala
  • Thursday, March 8, 2018 Watch: Cyrus Khan talks about Parkour, jumping across walls and why he hates sitting
  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 Unwind: India's basketball sensation Amjyot Singh has his eyes set on becoming an NBA regular
  • Monday, May 28, 2018 First Day First Showsha — Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story in 10 questions
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See