Nadal slams Yannick Noah's comments on doping in Spanish sport
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Spanish sport’s stars have reacted angrily to comments made by French tennis legend Yannick Noah in a newspaper over the weekend in which he said doping was widespread in Spanish sport.
In Saturday’s edition of Le Monde, Noah asked “how can a nation come to dominate sport to such an extent overnight?” and said Spanish sport had a “secret to keep”.
Spain has enjoyed stunning success in a variety of sports in recent years. The national football team won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.
The basketball team are the reigning European champions and took silver at the 2008 Olympics, while world number two tennis player Rafael Nadal, cycling star Alberto Contador and Formula One driver Fernando Alonso are all major sporting superstars.
Speaking from London where he is currently competing, Nadal dismissed Noah’s comments as ridiculous.
“He knows better than anyone that to say that today is a totally stupid thing because you know how many anti-doping controls we have during the season year by year,” he said.
Top coach Josep Guardiola demanded Noah showed some proof or “shut up”.
Noah's comments also drew sharp criticism from France’s two-time Olympic judo champion and current sports minister, David Douillet, who described them as “serious and irresponsible”.
Noah is a hugely popular figure in France who was the last Frenchman to win the French Open in 1983.