Roselyne Bachelot, who had been sued by Rafael Nadal for defamation, has been found guilty a Paris court. In March 2016, the former French Sports minister claimed the Spaniard doped when he stopped competing for seven months between 2012 and 2013 due to a knee injury.
Bachelot will have to pay €2,000 of legal costs, a fine of €500 and €10,000 (equivalent to $11,800) in damages to Nadal. The Spaniard's lawyer Patrick Maisonneuve had asked for €100,000 during the hearing that took place in October.
'Those remarks could have had meaningful consequences on the player's situation with current and future sponsors,' Maisonneuve had said. In a statement released to AFP, Bachelot said she doesn't regret of her remarks, adding she is satisfied that judges didn't fully accept what Nadal's lawyers said.
As he already announced in April 2016 when he went public with the complaint, Nadal will donate full money to charity and will pay lawyers himself. 'I would like to reiterate my respect to the legal procedure and Tribunals of France,' the Spaniard said through a statement.
'We have been made aware of their decision by which Mrs. Bachelot has been found guilty of defamation. When I filed the law suit against Mrs. Bachelot, I intended not only to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete but also the values I have defended all my career.
I also wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished. The motivation as I have always remarked was not economical.
As the tribunal considered there has been a wrong-doing and the sentence recognises the right to damages, the compensation will be paid back in full to an NGO or foundation in France.' Just last week, in an interview to Le Monde French newspaper, the world no.
1 had spoke again about it, commenting he wanted drug tests to be made public. 'I would like transparency when it comes to anti-doping, with anti-doping authorities saying: "Rafael Nadal has undergone a test today, which turned out to be negative.” For me, that would change a lot of things.
One would not wonder anymore about how many controls such player must undergo, if he has too much controls or not enough. At least there, everyone would have the numbers.' Asked what he would like to tell to those who, like Bachelot, are sceptical about his integrity due to his physical game, Nadal replied: 'I can answer to people who are involved in our sport and who speak the same language as us, but I have nothing to say to those who know absolutely nothing about tennis.
In the case of Bachelot, I decided to take the case to justice and it will be the justice who will respond. I am tired of hearing such things that harm my honour and cause damages.' ALSO READ: Fabio Fognini: 'How can you learn from Federer and Nadal? They are unique' .