Tennis: Eleven-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal’s uncle and coach Toni Nadal has severely criticised retired Belgian tennis player Christopher Rochus for alleging that his nephew used performance enhancing drugs.
Toni said in a recent interview that Rochus is not only a jerk but he is also a rude person. He added that his nephew has never done any kind of doping throughout his career and only a fool like Rochus can think like that.
Nadal’s uncle was talking to Spanish website Punto de Break when he was asked to give comments on Rochus’ allegations on the former world number one.
He stated, “Look, this (Rochus) besides being a jerk, he is also rude. Rafael in his entire life has taken nothing (illegal) and will never take anything. I think It’s incredible that a fool like this has said what he said.”
When Nadal was on a seven month knee injury break from the ATP World Tour, Rochus said that the Spaniard used performance enhancing drugs and when he was caught, he was given a doping cover by the ATP. Rochus meant to say that Nadal was not actually nursing a knee injury break but just clearing the traces of doping drugs from his blood.
The Belgian said that it’s not humanely possible without using performance enhancing drugs that a tennis player played a six hour long match one day and then on the very next day he played another long match without any sign of fatigue.
He said, "The guys can't play five or six hours and then come back the next day and run around like a rabbit."
American tennis legend Pete Sampras and current British number one Andy Murray defended Nadal from Rochus’ allegations.
Murray stated, "I would say that is far from the truth. Anyone can see the amount of hours of training and practice that go into what we do and there are other sports that are far more challenging than tennis endurance-wise. When guys play five or six hours in the slams, like we often do, we have a day's rest.”
Nadal came back from the injury break with a bang, winning three of the four tournaments he played including the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells, which was his first hard court title in almost three years.
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