Tennis

Nadal mocked in doping sketch

2012-02-08 16:55
Rafael Nadal (File)

Madrid - The Spanish tennis federation is planning to sue Canal Plus France for using its logo in a video that poked fun at Rafael Nadal and other Spaniards' alleged ties to doping.

In the video skit this week on Les Guignols (The Puppets) satirical program, a man wearing a Nadal puppet mask is shown urinating into his car's gas tank before racing off at immense speed only to be pulled over by traffic police for speeding.

A message reading "Spanish athletes. They don't win by chance," then appears on the screen surrounded by the logos of the tennis federation and other Spanish federations such as those of cycling and football.

"This time they have gone way too far," tennis federation president Jose Luis Escanuela said in the statement. "We at the tennis federation cannot tolerate the slander and damage to the prestige of our athletes."

The video came hours after the Court of Arbitration for Sport issued a two-year ban against Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador for doping. Contador was also stripped of his 2010 Tour de France win.

Nadal's coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, downplayed the sketch.

"Rafa hasn't given it any importance," Nadal was quoted as telling SER radio by sports daily AS. "It's a comedy show, we don't care. Rafa isn't affected by it."

Nadal has won the French Open six times since 2005.

The federation said it will provide details of the lawsuit on Saturday during the Davis Cup match between Spain and Kazakhstan. It said the action will begin with a demand for Canal Plus France to withdraw the video, to abstain from using the federation's logo improperly and compensation for having used it improperly.

It said it would seek the support of other sport federations for the suit.

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