Rafael Nadal to sue ex-French sports minister over doping claim
Rafael Nadal is to sue the former French sports minister after she accused him of doping.
The 14-time Grand Slam winner has warned he will do the same against anyone who makes similar claims in the future.
The 29-year-old is to take legal action after Roselyne Bachelot, the ex-Minister for Health and Sport, last week alleged that when Nadal was sidelined by a knee injury for seven months in 2012 it was actually because he had tested positive for a banned substance.
It comes in the wake of Maria Sharapova's announcement which shocked the sporting world that she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open.
The Russian tennis player failed a test in January for the banned substance Meldonium, a drug which she said she had taken on medical advice for 10 years.
Sharapova accepted full responsibility for failing to read a notice sent to her in December by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which added the drug to its banned list this year because of fears that it was being used to enhance performances.
Now, Nadal has said he is tired of the allegations against him and plans to take action.
After beating Gilles Muller to reach the third round at Indian Wells, Nadal said: "There is a couple of times that I've heard comments like this and this is going to be the last one, because I'm going to sue her.
"I've let it go a few times in the past but not any more.
"I know how tough I work to be here, to listen to her, to comments from a person who should be serious, because she was a minister of a big country, a great country like France....So I'm going to sue her.
"In the past I didn't want to go for justice, to sue the people who said these things because I didn't think they were serious, but a minister of France should be serious.
"So this is the time to go against her, we're going to sue her, and from this day on I tell you that everyone who has another comment in this way, it's going to happen the same."
Last week Nadal was asked about the Sharapova announcement and the former world number one addressed the unfounded rumours about himsellf.
He said: "I am a completely clean guy. I have never had the temptation of doing something wrong.
"I believe in the sport and the values of the sport. It is an example for the kids and, if I am doing something that goes against that, I will be lying to myself, not lying to my opponents."
Belfast Telegraph Digital