Nadal blasts 'sad' French campaign

Rafael Nadal has hit out at what he called a "general campaign" in France to discredit Spanish athletes by implying their success is due to the use of illegal drugs.

Speaking to reporters a day after the Spanish tennis federation (RFET) said it would sue French TV broadcaster Canal+ for "unacceptable and damaging insinuations" in a cartoon about Nadal, the world number two said he found the attacks "sad".

"It's the kind of humour that for one day is fine but if it is repeated over and over again it's not right and I think it oversteps the line a bit," Nadal said at a training session in his home town of Manacor on the island of Mallorca on Thursday.

"I don't think it's just one media, it's a general campaign by the neighbouring country," the six-time French Open champion added.

"It's sad to see a campaign like that against something that has cost so much to achieve.

"There's no question of pills or syringes or anything like that I can assure you."

The Canal+ sketch from their show "Les Guignols", or "The Puppets", showed a life-size likeness of Nadal filling up his car's gas tank from his own bladder before being pulled over by traffic police for speeding.

"Spanish athletes. They do not win by chance," is flashed on the screen surrounded by the logo of the RFET and several other Spanish federations, including soccer and cycling.

The RFET said it planned to sue the broadcaster for the attack on Nadal as well as for reproducing the federation's emblem without permission.

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