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Spain overreacted on doping ridicule: Nadal

World number two Rafael Nadal says Spaniards have given too much publicity to a French satirical puppet show that ridiculed drugs taking by Spanish sports stars.

sports Updated: Feb 14, 2012 23:47 IST

World number two Rafael Nadal says Spaniards have given too much publicity to a French satirical puppet show that ridiculed drugs taking by Spanish sports stars.

"They are a bit obsessed by the doping question in France," the 25-year-old tennis star told Antena 3 television late on Monday. But "in Spain we have given them more publicity that we should have," he added.

The sketches on Canal Plus France's television show 'Les Guignols' whipped up a storm of outrage in Spain, prompting foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo to order a formal protest to French media.

One sketch featured a puppet likeness of world number two Nadal refuelling 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.

"The first sketch they did is tolerable, but to do another one afterwards is going too far. They are only puppets but they can wrongly influence many people's perception of Spanish sport," he said.

He also struck out at French tennis great Yannick Noah who wrote in November in French newspaper Le Monde that doping was widespread in Spain.