Rafael Nadal awarded damages over French former ministers doping claim

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

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 out of action with 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 (8,900), which the player will donate to a French charity.

The Spaniard, who has had to pull out of the ATP World Tour Finals in London this week with 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 wrongdoing 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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