The Spanish tennis star said his lawyers lodged the defamation suit in Paris against Roselyne Bachelot because of her 'offensive remarks' on French television last month.
     
Bachelot, France's former minister for health and sport, said on TV show Le Grand 8 that the Spaniard's seven-month injury hiatus in 2012 was 'probably due to a positive doping test'.

"Through this case, I intend not only to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete but also the values I have defended all my career," Nadal said in a statement.

"I also wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished,” he added. He said that if he wins the case, any compensation awarded by the judge will be paid back in full to an NGO or foundation in France.
     
Bachelot's remarks upset Nadal and outraged Spaniards, including many fellow athletes who quickly came out to defend the tennis star. The Spanish Olympic Committee and members of the Spanish government also loudly criticized the former French minister.

Nadal's coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, called Bachelot 'an imbecile', according to Spanish media. A 14-time Grand Slam champion and the gold medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Nadal is one of Spain's biggest sports idols.

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