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Beyond the Baseline

Rafael Nadal: Athletes linked to Spanish doping case should be named

rafael-nadal-chile Rafael Nadal says doping scandals damage the image of all athletes. (Marcelo Benitez/LatinContent/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal, in an interview with French sports daily L'Equipe (translated here), said all athletes implicated in the Operation Puerto doping trial in Spain should be named.

A judge in Madrid has ruled that Eufemiano Fuentes, the Spanish doctor suspected of running one of the largest doping rings in sports, does not have to disclose his client list. In addition to cyclists, Fuentes says he treated soccer players, boxers and tennis players.

Here's Nadal:

"What is happening in Spain, I don't understand it," he told the magazine.

"I don't understand why Dr Fuentes is not giving names. And I don't understand why the judge has not asked him to do so.

"I don't understand why we never get to the bottom of these things. We need to clean everything up. I believe this doctor has worked with foreign athletes but because he is Spanish it is Spanish sport that is being prejudiced.

"As an athlete that hurts me. Because of people like (US cyclist Lance) Armstrong, we all have a dubious image."

Nadal's comments echo Andy Murray's call for the alleged Operation Puerto dopers to be identified.

As for the current "Operation Puerto" trial in Spain, Murray believes it is wrong that the doctor at the centre of the alleged doping ring does not have to name his clients, who include tennis players. "I think it's essential that the names of whoever was involved with him come out," Murray said. He added: "All sports - not just tennis - need to look very closely at this stuff because I think a lot has been learned from what's happened with the Lance Armstrong situation and you don't want that happening ever again. And I don't want that happening for my sport because it would be terrible."
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