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By Chris Oddo | Thursday March 10, 2016

Rafael Nadal encountered an accusatory question on Wednesday during a roundtable at the BNP Paribas Open, and he quickly defended himself, explaining that he is completely clean and prides himself on his integrity and the fact that he has worked his whole career to play by the rules.

Here’s a snippet of that conversation, because we thought you’d enjoy reading Nadal’s quotes in context (see full video of Nadal's statement above, thanks to Stephanie Myles of Yahoo Sports Canada):

Reporter: Rafa when you guys are recovering from an injury, there’s things you can take to help speed up that recovery. Is there sometimes the temptation to take something and then how frustrating is it that you know there are things that can help you recover, but you just can’t take them?

Nadal: “You know what? I heard a few times again about doping from my people, and I’m a little bit tired with that. I really don’t know nothing about the doping. I’m a completely clean guy and I work so much all my career. When I get injured I get injured. I never take nothing to be back quicker. I never have any temptations to do something wrong. I believe in the sport. And in the values of the sport. The sport is an example for society, it’s an example for the kids and if I am doing something that goes against that I will be lying to myself. That would be something that would be really bad for me and I don’t have these values and I don’t have any temptation to do negative things.

“I am a fair player and I love the sport as a player as a competitor and as a follower. When something negative happens in the world of sport I am sad because the sport is an example for society and for kids in general, so stop with that please.”


Nadal’s impassioned response to the question comes a day after he was accused of doping by Roselyne Bachelot, the former French secretary of sport.

(Note: Nadal's coach, Toni Nadal, told Spanish radio that Nadal's lawyer is looking into potentially taking legal action against Bachelot.)

"We know that Nadal's famous seven-month injury was without a doubt due to a positive [drug test]," Bachelot told a French TV show on Tuesday morning, according to ESPN. "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."

Though this specific accusation was not discussed during his roundtable, it is clear why the Spaniard found it necessary to make his point. Nadal also went on to say that he’s more than happy to talk about his health procedures with the media.

“I really don’t get upset,” he said. “The questions are good and it is good that people have the right information. I always have been very open all the time and during all my career, not trying to hide anything that I did. I was very honest and very fair with all of you when I was with nerves. I told you when I was injured. I told you what I did to recover. I did PRP then I did stem cells for my knees. The first time PRP worked fantastic the second time was bad.”

He continued: “That’s the real thing and I had to stop for seven months playing tennis. And with the stem cells for the moment I used it two times for my knees and it worked very well. I am not doing, I never did, and am never going to do something that is wrong, and for sure I have the confidence with my team that they are doing the same things.”

 

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