Johannesburg: World number one Rafael Nadal has sought 100,000 euros in damages from former French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot after she levelled doping allegation against the Spanish tennis maestro.
Roselyne Bachelot, who served as Minister for Health and Sport of France between 2007 and 2010, had alleged that Nadal's seven-month injury break in 2012 was due to the failed drug test.
However, neither Nadal nor Bachelot were present at the court hearing, which took place in Paris on Friday.
Nadal's lawyer, Patrick Maisonneuve, informed the court that the doping allegations levelled by Bachelot could have had "major consequences" for his client, concerning his "existing or future sponsors".
The lawyer further told that Nadal had asked him to put the matter to rest by passing on his medical file, which clearly reveals a very serious left knee injury.
On the other hand, Bachelot's lawyer Olivier Chappuis argued that the International Tennis Federation's anti-doping programme was at fault and that the governing body "has always been astonishingly lax".
"There is a vast gap between the success he enjoys and the weakness of anti-doping controls.What sponsor has abandoned Rafael Nadal because of these comments? None," he claimed, suggesting the court award symbolic damages to Nadal if his client is found guilty of one euro," Sport24 quoted Chappuis, as saying.
It should be noted that the 16-time Grand Slam champion has never failed a drugs test and had defended his training methods and out-rightly rejected to have used any banned substance in order to speed up his recovery from injury.
A verdict is likely to be declared on November 16....