Nadal fumes at satirical French 'allegations' | sports | Hindustan Times
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Nadal fumes at satirical French 'allegations'

Tennis great Rafael Nadal has attacked a televised French satirical puppet show that implied he and other Spanish sports stars are drug cheats, saying it had crossed the line.

sports Updated: Feb 11, 2012 00:37 IST

Tennis great Rafael Nadal has attacked a televised French satirical puppet show that implied he and other Spanish sports stars are drug cheats, saying it had crossed the line.


The sketches on Canal Plus France's show "Les Guignols," or "The Puppets" whipped up a storm of outrage in Spain, leading the foreign minister to order formal protests to French media.

One sketch featured a puppet likeness of world number two Nadal replenishing the tank of his car from his own bladder, a fill-up which powers up the car and leads to him being pulled over by police.

In another, a satirical advert asks people to donate blood to cycling champion Alberto Contador, who has been slapped with a two-year doping ban, and thus share in the glory of his cycling victories.

"At the end of the day it is humour," Nadal told Spanish media Thursday, explaining that he had not seen the video himself.

"One day is ok but when, from what I understand, it is done repeatedly then that is not so good because it crosses the line a bit. And it is always with the same focus," he said.

The French puppet show was a "repeat offender", said the 25-year-old tennis star.

"The institutions in general have to defend us because I don't think it is a campaign against me or a campaign against anyone. It is a campaign against Spain in general, and against Spanish sports," he said.

"I don't think it is only Canal Plus that does it. I think there are other media pushing it along and I think that is something punishable because in Spain sportspeople who are not clean are punished, they don't compete."

Australia take 2-0 lead over China
Geelong, Australia: Lleyton Hewitt beat Chinese No. 1 Zhang Ze 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (4) and Bernard Tomic later put Australia up 2-0 in their Davis Cup Asia-Oceania first-round regional playoff Friday.

Tomic defeated China's Wu Di 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-3 on grass at the Geelong Lawn Tennis Club after Hewitt had won his record 38th Davis Cup singles match for Australia.

Captain Pat Rafter also had Hewitt scheduled to play what could be Australia's clinching doubles match on Saturday.