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Rafael Nadal set to sue French politician over doping allegations

Rafael Nadal said he is fed up with doping allegations and plans to take legal action to stop them. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal is planning to take legal action against the former French sports minister who accused him of doping and warned he will do likewise against anyone who makes similar claims in the future.

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

It is not the first time the 14-time grand slam winner has had to face such rumours but the Spaniard now says he is fed up with the allegations and plans to take action.

Nadal told a press conference after beating Gilles Muller to reach the third round at Indian Wells: "There is a couple of times that I've heard comments like this and this is going to be the last one, because I'm going to sue her. I've let it go a few times in the past but not any more.

"I know how tough I work to be here, to listen to her, to comments from a person who should be serious, because she was a minister of a big country, a great country like France....So I'm going to sue her.

"In the past I didn't want to go for justice, to sue the people who said these things because I didn't think they were serious, but a minister of France should be serious.

"So this is the time to go against her, we're going to sue her, and from this day on I tell you that everyone who has another comment in this way, it's going to happen the same."

Bachelot's allegations about Nadal came in the wake of Maria Sharapova's announcement that she had failed a drugs test at the Australian Open.

Nadal was also asked about Sharapova last week and the former world number one took the opportunity to address the unfounded but persistent rumours about himself, saying: "I am a completely clean guy. I have never had the temptation of doing something wrong.

"I believe in the sport and the values of the sport. It is an example for the kids and, if I am doing something that goes against that, I will be lying to myself, not lying to my opponents."