Real Madrid have jumped to the defence of Rafael Nadal over claims he has doped in his tennis career.
The tennis world has been shrouded in more controversy this week following Maria Sharapova testing positive for a banned substance.
Following that, French politician Roselyne Bachelot has claimed publicly that Nadal’s seven-month injury lay-off in 2012 was a result of him failing a drugs test.
She said, quotes via latimes.com: “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 has denied those claims, and there are reports that he could sue the former French health and sports minister for her comments.
But he’s also got some support from the football club he loves, as they bizarrely released a statement condemning the allegations.
It read, via realmadrid.com: “Real Madrid C.F. 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.
“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 ethic, 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.”
It’s unusual for Madrid to release a statement supporting one of their managers or players, but Nadal? No problem.
In fairness to the Spaniard, he’s never failed a drugs test and for him to be tarred with the doping brush is wrong.