REAL MADRID HAVE issued their support to tennis star Rafa Nadal, after he was accused of doping by former French Minister for Health and Sport Roselyne Bachelot.
Earlier in the week, Bachelot claimed the hiatus that Nadal took from tennis in 2012 was not due to injury, and instead was a cover up for a positive drugs test.
“We know that Nadal’s famous seven-month injury was without a doubt due to a positive (drug test),” she told French TV. “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.”
Real Madrid have since leapt to Nadal’s defence, issuing a statement backing the star, whose uncle Miguel Ángel Nadal is a former Spanish international and Barcelona player.
“Real Madrid CF would like to express their full support to our honorary member, Rafa Nadal, undoubtedly one of the greatest sportsmen of all time in Spain and in the world,” the statement read.
Rafa Nadal represents the fundamental values of sport. His greatness and his incredible achievements have always been based upon a foundation of exemplary conduct, unwavering work, talent and astonishing levels of commitment.
“This being the case, our institution considers the attacks made on his person by former minister Roselyne Bachelot to be unjustifiable and unacceptable.
Real Madrid C.F. consider the close ties to an idol such as Nadal to be an honour, such is his status as a symbol sporting excellence. Nadal is admired and adored by millions of fans the world over, and today our club is standing firmly by his side.”
Nadal himself has also rejected doping allegations, telling reporters: ”I am a completely clean guy. I work so much during all my career, and when I get an injury, I get an injury. I never take nothing to be back quicker. And never had no temptation of doing something wrong. I believe in the sport and in the values of the sport. It is an example for the kids. If I am doing something that goes against that, I will be lying to myself, not to my opponents.”