Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal plans to sue a former French minister who said his seven-month absence in 2012 was “probably because of a positive test for doping.”
Nadal was deeply disturbed by the statements made by Roselyne Bachelot, who was previously Minister of Health and Sports of France.
Nadal, who won 14 Grand Slam titles, said he would sue anyone else who would claim “something similar in the future”.
Nadal said he was tired of the allegations, and was no longer willing to let her pass without action.
He added: “The minister in the French government must be serious. This is the timing (which should) take action against it, and we will prosecute it.”
He continued: “This will be the last time (for these allegations) because I will sue them. I am tired of these things, I have ignored this a few times in the past, and I will not allow them again.”
Bachelot, 69, was Minister of Health and Sports from 2007 to 2010 under the government of former President Nicolas Sarkozy.
She made the allegations about Nadal while talking about the failure of the famous Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova in doping tests.
“When you see a tennis player stop (from playing) for months, it is actually due to a positive result (of the doping test),” said the former French minister.
Nadal had already talked about the speculation surrounding him.
After Sharapova admitted last week that she had failed to pass doping tests, the former world number one tennis player commented: “I am a completely clean man.”
He added: “I never had the temptation to do something wrong.”
Nadal never failed in doping tests, but he was subject to speculation that he would take doping.
Yannick Noah, who previously won the French Open, wrote an article in a newspaper saying that the success of the Spanish player Nadal in tennis courts is due to doping.
A year later, a French satirical TV show showed a person the size of Nadal filling a fuel tank in his car from his bladder before the traffic police stopped him to exceed the speed limit, in a hint of doping.
In the same vein, former Belgian Christophe Rochus in 2013 questioned how Nadal could have won the French Open in 2012, and was injured two weeks later in Wimbledon.