Nadal to ITF: Publish all my drug test results

Rafael Nadal in action at the Barcelona Open, which he won last week. The Spaniard wants tennis to win its fight against doping.
Rafael Nadal in action at the Barcelona Open, which he won last week. The Spaniard wants tennis to win its fight against doping. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MADRID • Fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has asked for the results of all drugs tests he has taken in his career to be released to the public in a letter to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Tuesday.

"It is necessary that our sport becomes a flagship in a world where transparency and honesty are two pillars of our conduct and way of living," the 29-year-old wrote in the letter addressed to ITF president David Haggerty.

Nadal has never failed a drug test in his 15 years on the ATP Tour and has always vehemently denied ever using a banned substance.

"I believe the time has arrived and our sport and our governing bodies need to step up in communicating well to the world," his letter continued.

"I know how many times I am tested, (during and out of competition). Please make all my information public. Please make public my biological passport, my complete history of anti-doping controls and tests.

"From now on I ask you to communicate when I am tested and the results as soon as they are ready from your labs.

"I also encourage you to start filing lawsuits if there is any misinformation spread by anyone. It can't be free any more in our tennis world to speak and to accuse without evidence."

Nadal, one of Spain's most loved and admired sportsmen, filed a lawsuit against former French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot on Monday after she accused him of covering up a failed drugs test.

Bachelot alleged that Nadal faked an injury in 2012 in order to hide a positive drug test.

The ITF acknowledged receipt of Nadal's letter and confirmed he had never committed a doping violation, while inviting the world No. 5 to make his records public.

"Mr. Nadal, as all other players who are subject to the TADP (Tennis Anti-Doping Programme), has access to his anti-doping records and is free to make them available," the federation said in a statement.

"The accuracy of any such release would be verified by the ITF."

The spectre of doping in tennis has drawn increased attention in recent months after five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova admitted she failed a test for the banned substance meldonium at this year's Australian Open.

One of Nadal's leading rivals, Britain's Andy Murray, has also been a vocal critic of the need for the tennis authorities to do more to protect the sport from doping.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2016, with the headline 'Nadal to ITF: Publish all my drug test results'. Print Edition | Subscribe