Ex-France minister has to pay damages to Nadal

Rafael Nadal of Spain waves to supporters after losing his singles tennis match against David Goffin of Belgium at the ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Rafael Nadal of Spain shouts during his singles tennis match against David Goffin of Belgium at the ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

PARIS — Former French minister for health and sport Roselyne Bachelot was ordered to pay 10,000 euros ($11,800) in damages to Rafael Nadal on Thursday after accusing him of doping.

In March last year, Bachelot said on a French television show that Nadal's seven-month injury layoff in 2012 was "probably due to a positive doping test."

Nadal, who has won 16 Grand Slam titles, filed a defamation suit against Bachelot in Paris.

The Spanish player said he will donate the money to a non-governmental organization or a foundation in France.

"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," Nadal said in a statement.

Nadal said he wanted to keep public figures "from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete ... without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished."

He said the lawsuit was never motivated by money.

Bachelot was also ordered by the French tribunal to pay Nadal a suspended fine of 500 euros ($590).

In April 2016, Nadal wrote to the president of the International Tennis Federation asking for all of his drug-test results and blood profile records to be made public. In the same letter, he said of Bachelot: "It is unacceptable and mostly unfair that someone that should have knowledge of sports to a certain point and degree can publicly say something like this with no proof or evidence."

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