Bachelot’s doping claims should not spark French-Spain ‘war’: Nadal

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Indian Wells (California), March 17 (IANS) Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal urged on Thursday that the controversy over French former sports minister Roselyne Bachelot’s doping accusations should not be turned into a war between France and Spain.

“I do not seek to turn the unfortunate words of a lady into a war between France and Spain,” Nadal said after defeating German Alexander Zverev 6-7(8), 6-0 and 7-5 in two hours and 35 minutes to qualify for the Indian Wells quarter-finals, reports Efe.

“Honestly, I love France. I love the country where I have been the most successful in my career. Just because one or two people said such unfortunate words, does not mean I will treat badly the country that has treated me so well,” said the No.4 seed.

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Nadal’s statements came during a press conference held after his victory, in response to a question about whether being picked to hold Spain’s flag during the 2016 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro would be an appropriate response to Bachelot’s accusations.

Bachelot accused Nadal of doping based on his absence from the court for seven months in 2012 due to a knee injury, and made the statement without any further evidence.

The Spaniard is set to face Japanese player Kei Nishikori in the tournament’s quarter-finals.

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