Paris - Spanish
tennis star Rafael Nadal won a defamation case against former French
health and sports minister Roselyne Bachelot on Thursday after she
accused him of doping on television.
Bachelot was handed a €500 fine by a court in Paris
and ordered to pay €12 000 in damages and legal fees to the serial
Grand Slam winner over the allegation she made to the D8 channel in
Nadal expressed his "utmost respect and confidence in the French legal system" after the ruling.
"When I decided to go to court it was not only to defend my own
reputation as a sportsman but also to defend the values I have always
held throughout my career," Nadal said in a statement.
"The motive as I said at the time was never about money," he added.
Bachelot, the ex-minister from 2007-2010, alleged that Nadal had
faked an injury in 2012, when he missed the final six months of the
season due to knee problems, in order to hide a positive drug test.
The holder of 16 Grand Slam titles has never failed a drugs test and denies ever using banned substances.
He had sought €100 000 in damages and explained last year that
he had decided to take legal action to set an example, having previously
ignored allegations against him.
His lawyer, Patrick Maisonneuve, told the court in October that the
doping accusation could have had "major consequences" for Nadal
concerning his "existing or future sponsors".