On Friday, in Paris, the first stage of the legal process involving Rafael Nadal and the former French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot who, in March 2016 had accused the Spaniard of using banned substances between 2012 and 2013, took place.
Nadal's lawyers asked for a compensation of €100,000. Bachelot's comments 'are really heavy because of her previous job,' said the player's laywer Patrick Maisonneuve in a Parisian court. Both Nadal, who is playing in the Shanghai Masters and Bachelot were absent from the proceedings.
Maisonneuve also said that these observations could have had 'significant consequences' especially for 'current and future sponsors.' Maisonneuve also added, 'Nadal asked me to close the argument by showing Bachelot (the results of) his drug tests.' Between July 2012 and January 2013, Nadal didn't play any competitive match due to tendonitis in his left knee.
Bachelot's lawyer, Olivier Chappuis, defended his client saying, 'There is a big difference between successes achieved and the fragility of the doping programme.' He added that Bachelot's comments were on the basis of Christophe Rochus and Daniel Köllerer's past statements that Nadal doped.
'Which sponsor left Nadal? No one. If Roselyne Bachelot will be condemned, she will pay €1,' Chappuis mentioned. The prosecutor said the former minister's accusations are 'really serious', and asked for her to be condemned.
The verdict of the trial will be announced on November 16th, but Bachelot may eventually appeal. In April 2016, Nadal said the eventual compensation would be given to a kids charity. ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: 'It was a great battle, I enjoyed!'