Tennis: Nadal hits out at doping accusers, says rivals are 'totally clean'

Rafael Nadal playing at the men's semi-final of the Madrid Open tournament at the Caja Magica (Magic Box) sports complex, on May 7, 2016.
Rafael Nadal playing at the men's semi-final of the Madrid Open tournament at the Caja Magica (Magic Box) sports complex, on May 7, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (Reuters) - Rafael Nadal is convinced that none of his rivals are taking performance-enhancing drugs and believes that people who have accused him of doping have "personal problems".

The Spaniard is suing former French cabinet minister Roselyne Bachelot after she alleged earlier this year that he had failed a drugs test.

He used an interview with El Mundo published on Saturday (May 7) to defend himself and other top players.

"I have total confidence that all my rivals are totally clean," he said. "I have no doubt about that, first of all because I believe in the anti-doping programme and secondly because I believe in people until they show you otherwise."

The 14-time Major winner said that people who have accused him of doping are unhappy with their own lives, and do not like his style of play.

Said the former world No. 1: "They do it because evidently they have a personal problem and are unhappy with themselves, and then they look further, at the technical aspect, perhaps only because of my way of fighting for every point, my style of play, which I've had throughout my career."

Nadal, who will attempt to win a 10th French Open title this year, strenuously denies ever having taken performance-enhancing substances and has never failed a drug test.