MADRID (AP) The Spanish government and Olympic committee have defended Rafael Nadal from doping accusations made by a former French official.

Former French Minister for Health and Sport Roselyne Bachelot told French television on Thursday that Nadal's seven-month injury hiatus in 2012 was ''probably due to a positive doping test.''

The Spanish Olympic Committee has responded with a statement saying Nadal ''has been submitted to innumerable anti-doping controls that he has always passed throughout his long career.''

Miguel Cardenal, the president of Spain's Higher Sports Council, calls Bachelot's accusations ''slander of one of the most important athletes in history.''

Nadal's coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, called Bachelot ''an imbecile,'' according to Spanish media.

Bachelot's accusations come in the wake of Maria Sharapova's failed doping test.