By Tia Ko
One day after Rafael Nadal claimed his record-tying 49th clay court title in Barcelona, news has come out that world no. 5 is suing former French government minister Roselyne Bachelot, who accused him of doping.
After Maria Sharapova’s high profile confession for testing positive meldonium, Bachelot was quoted saying on French television, “We know that Nadal’s famous seven-month injury was without a doubt due to a positive [drug test]. When you see a tennis player who stops playing for long months, it is because he has tested positive and because they are covering it up. It is not something that always happens, but, yes, it happens more than you think.”
Nadal was quick to respond to the allegation stating last month that, “This is going to be the last one, because I'm going to sue her. I am tired about these things. I let it go a few times in the past. Not any more.”
“Through this case, I intend not only to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete but also the values I have defended all my career.” Nadal said in a statement this afternoon, “I also wish 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.”
If Nadal wins the case, any compensation that he’s rewarded will go to a nongovernmental organization or a foundation in France.
Rafael Nadal's full statement:
I hereby make public the defamation law suit against Mrs. Roselyne Bachelot, that I have filed today April 25th 2016 before the Paris law courts. This legal proceeding was instigated after Miss Bachelot made offensive remarks last March on Le Grand 8, program of French channel D8. The lawyer in charge of the case is Maître Patrick Maisonneuve, lawyer at the Paris bar.
Through this case, I intend not only to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete but also the values I have defended all my career. I also wish 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.
Should the tribunal consider there has been a wrong-doing and the sentence recognises the right to damages, any compensation will be paid back in full to an NGO or foundation in France.
On the other hand, I ask for total respect regarding the legal procedure just started and would like to express my complete trust in the French justice system who will be judging the legal case. I will not be making any further statement about the case.