LONDON (AP) Fed up with being accused of doping, Rafael Nadal has written to the president of the International Tennis Federation and asked for all of his drug-test results and blood profile records to be made public.
”It can’t be free anymore in our tennis world to speak and to accuse without evidence,” the 14-time Grand Slam champion said in a letter obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Nadal’s letter was sent to ITF President David Haggerty on Monday, the same day he filed suit against a former French government minister who suggested he had been doping.
”I know how many times I am tested, on and off competition,” Nadal wrote in the letter. ”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.”
The ITF confirmed it received the letter from Nadal, including the request for his test results to be released under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program.
”The ITF can confirm that Mr. Nadal has never failed a test under the TADP and has not been suspended at any time for an anti-doping rule violation or for any other reason related to the TADP,” the ITF said in a statement sent to the AP.
The ITF said Nadal, like other players, has access to his anti-doping records through the World Anti-Doping Agency’s database ”and is free to make them available.”
”The accuracy of any such release would be verified by the ITF,” the federation said.
The Spanish star said he was writing the letter because of remarks by Roselyne Bachelot, France’s former minister for health and sport. She said on a French television show last month that Nadal’s seven-month injury layoff in 2012 was ”probably due to a positive doping test.”
Nadal, who won his 49th clay-court tournament on Sunday in Barcelona and will go for his 10th French Open title next month, filed a defamation suit against Bachelot in Paris.
”It is unacceptable and mostly unfair that someone that should have knowledge of sports to a certain point and degree can publicly say something like this with no proof or evidence,” Nadal said in the letter to Haggerty.
Nadal said some media, fans, and sponsors don’t trust tennis’ anti-doping program.
”They don’t trust the sport. They think governing bodies cover things up and do nothing,” he said. ”We know this is not true. … I believe the time has arrived, and our sport and our governing bodies need to step up in communicating well to the world.”
Nadal said he has never shied away from sharing his thoughts on anti-doping.
”I believe we have to continue with the fight against doping and make the fight stronger and better if possible,” he wrote. ”As a player, first an amateur and then a professional, I have been sure that our sport is clean. 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.”
Nadal’s letter comes at a time when tennis is dealing with Maria Sharapova’s high-profile doping case. The Russian has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for the newly banned substance meldonium at the Australian Open in January. She is awaiting an ITF disciplinary hearing.