Tennis: Nadal Angered by Noah’s Doping Claims
Rafael Nadal thinks Yannick Noah should be banned from commenting in the media after the French tennis great accused Spanish athletes of widespread doping in a controversial newspaper column.
Nadal reacted angrily on Sunday when asked about Noah’s claim in the Le Monde newspaper on Saturday that French athletes no longer had a chance against Spanish opponents because they “don’t have the magic potion.”
“This guy deserve not [to] write anymore in the newspaper,” Nadal said. “What he said is completely stupid.”
Nadal, who toiled for nearly three hours before beating Mardy Fish 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3) at the ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday, added that Noah’s remarks were “totally stupid” because of the amount of doping tests conducted on athletes throughout the season.
Fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, who is competing with Nadal at the ATP finals, has also condemned Noah’s comments, as have high-profile football coach Pep Guardiola and French Minister for Sports David Douillet.
Noah, the 1983 French Open champion, said Spanish athletes were consistently more well-built than their French rivals and that they must be doping — without offering any other proof.
“How can a country [Spain] dominate sport from one day to the next?” Noah asked.
He even proposed the idea that the French should relax their doping rules in order to keep up.
Ten-time Grand Slam champion Nadal said Noah’s comments reflected badly on the former tennis star’s home country, not Spain.