Tennis: Nadal angered by Noah’s comments on doping

AP, Monday 21 Nov 2011

Rafael Nadal thinks Yannick Noah should be banned from commenting in the media after the French tennis great accused Spanish athletes of widespread doping in a controversial newspaper column.

Nadal reacted angrily Sunday when asked about Noah’s claim in Saturday’s edition of Le Monde newspaper that French athletes no longer had a chance against their Spanish opponents because they “don’t have the magic potion.”

“This guy deserve not (to) write anymore in the newspaper,” Nadal said. “What he said is completely stupid.”

Nadal, speaking at the ATP World Tour Finals, added that Noah’s remarks were “totally stupid” because of the amount of doping tests conducted on athletes throughout the season.

He said Noah’s thoughts were like those of a “kid.”

Fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, who is competing with Nadal at the ATP finals, has also condemned Noah’s comments, as have high-profile football coach Pep Guardiola and French Minister for Sports David Douillet.

Noah, the 1983 French Open champion, suggested that Spanish athletes were consistently more well-built than their French rivals and said they must be doping—without offering any other proof.

“How can a country (Spain) dominate sport from one day to the next?” Noah asked. “Had they discovered avant-garde training techniques and methods that no one else imagined?”

Noah even proposed the idea that the French authorities should relax their rules on doping in order to keep up.

Ten-time Grand Slam champion Nadal said Noah’s comments reflected badly on the former tennis star’s home country, not Spain.

“The image of the country when one guy, important guy like him, say that, is terrible.”

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