Rafael Nadal wins £10,000 defamation case against former French minister who accused him of faking injury to hide positive drugs test on television
Rafael Nadal has won his legal battle against former French government minister Roselyne Bachelot following her accusation that he sat out a ‘silent ban’ for a doping offence in 2012.
The world No 1 was awarded £10,700 in damages, well short of the £90,000 he was seeking, because the judge did not feel the allegation had adversely affected his commercial worth.
Nadal, who has never failed a drugs test, strenuously denied her accusation, made on French TV last year in the wake of the Maria Sharapova suspension, and sued Bachelot for defamation.
Nadal had provided medical and testing records to show that his six-month absence five years ago was due to knee problems.
‘When I filed the law suit 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,’ said Nadal in a statement.
‘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.
‘The motivation, as I have always remarked, was not economical. As the tribunal considered there has been a wrong-doing and the sentence recognises the right to damages, the compensation will be paid in full to an NGO or foundation in France.’