Rafael Nadal to take legal action over doping claims

The 14-time Grand Slam winner is planning to sue an ex-French government minister who said his seven-month absence in 2012 was "probably due to a positive doping test"

Rafael Nadal is preparing to sue a former French government minister who claimed his seven-month absence from tennis in 2012 "probably due to a positive doping test".

The 14-time Grand Slam winner was responding to claims made by Roselyne Bachelot who was Minister for Health and Sport from 2007 until 2010, under the government of former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

"A minister of France should be serious," he said. "This time is the time to go against her. We are going to sue her.

"This is going to be the last one, because I'm going to sue her. I am tired about these things. I let it go a few times in the past. Not any more."

Rafa Nadal returns a shot to returns a shot to Gilles Muller at the Indian Wells Open. Image: Mark J. Terrill / AP/Press Association Images

The 69-year-old made the comments about the Spaniard last week after revelations that Maria Sharapova had failed a drugs test.

"When you see a tennis player stopping for months, it's because there's been a positive control," Bachelot said.

After the admission by Sharapova, Nadal said: "I am a completely clean guy. I have never had the temptation of doing something wrong."

The former world number one, who was speaking after making it through to the third round of the Indian Wells Open in California, said he would take action against anyone who alleges anything similar.