INDIAN WELLS, Calif.—Rafael Nadal says he will sue the former French Minister for Health and Sports for making doping allegations against him, and plans to sue any and all accusers moving forward.
"There is a couple of times I heard comments like this, and that's what … this [is] gonna be the last one, because I gonna sue her,” Nadal said following his second-round win over Gilles Muller at Indian Wells. “I am tired about these things. I let it go a few times in the past. Not [any]more, you know?
"I know how tough I worked to be here. To listen, to [hear] those comments from a person that should be serious, because [she] was minister of a big country and a great country like France. So I gonna sue her, and I gonna sue everyone who gonna comment something similar in the future, because I am tired of that."
Roselyne Bachelot—the Minister for Health and Sports from 2007 until 2010—called out the 14-time Grand Slam champion on French television.
"We know the famous injury of Rafael Nadal when he stopped for seven months was certainly due to a positive test,” she said. “When you see a tennis player who stops for some months, it is a positive test. Not each time, but very often."
She appeared to be referring to Nadal's injury layoff in 2012.
She has since stood by her comments.
"I simply reflected comments widely held in the world of tennis and the press,” she said. “Players have denounced these practices as widely used. Austrian player [Daniel] Koellerer and others have declared, 'Impossible that Nadal and [David] Ferrer have not doped.' I don't remember these declarations causing such a stir."
It is not the first time someone from France has accused Nadal of doping. In 2011, Yannick Noah included him in allegations of significant doping in Spanish sport, and a French satirical TV program insinuated that Nadal was doping in a 2012 broadcast.
A variety of sports organizations and figures have defended Nadal against these new accustations, including NBA player Pau Gasol and Real Madrid.
"Thanks very much everybody from the world of sport, and for sure everybody who did the comments supporting me, because [they] have been really tough for me, you know," said Nadal. "I have been working so much since I [was] five years old, all my career, to have the success that I had. And always with the right way, always practicing with passion, with intensity, with love for the game."