Tuesday 20 August 2019

Rafa Nadal wins €10,000 in defamation case against French politician who accused him of doping

Rafael Nadal of Spain competes during the Men's singles final match against Nick Kyrgios of Australia on day nine of 2017 China Open at the China National Tennis Centre on October 8, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal of Spain competes during the Men's singles final match against Nick Kyrgios of Australia on day nine of 2017 China Open at the China National Tennis Centre on October 8, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Press Association

Rafael Nadal has been awarded damages after the former French sports minister who accused him of doping was found guilty of defamation.

Roselyne Bachelot, the former Minister for Health and Sport, 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.

Nadal took action and, after the case went to court, Bachelot was ordered to pay damages of 10,000 euros (£8,927), which the tennis player will donate to a French charity.

The Spaniard, who has had to pull out of this week's ATP Finals in London due to more knee trouble, said in a statement: "I would like to reiterate my respect for the legal procedure and French tribunals.

"We have been made aware of the decision by which Mrs Bachelot has been found guilty of defamation.

"When I filed the lawsuit against Mrs Bachelot, I intended 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 stop any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation, and to go unpunished.

"The motivation, as I have always said, was not financial. As the tribunal considered there has been wrong-doing and the sentence recognises the right to damages.

"The compensation will be paid back in full to an non-governmental organisation or foundation in France."

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