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Nadal hits back at 'stupid' Noah accusations

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Nadal hits back at 'stupid' Noah accusations
John Togasaki
13:42 CET+01:00

Claims by former French tennis champ Yannick Noah that Spanish sporting success is down to doping have been furiously attacked by Spain's Rafael Nadal.

Noah wrote an article in Saturday's Le Monde newspaper in which he asked how a country could dominate sport "from one day to the next."

"Have they discovered techniques and training structures that no-one else has thought of?" he asked. "I've looked but can't find any of these innovations reported or documented."

"Today, sport is a bit like Asterix at the Olympic Games," he said, referring to one of the stories involving the popular French cartoon hero. "If you don't have the magic potion, it's hard to win."

Noah concluded his article by arguing that doping laws should be relaxed, so that "everyone can have the magic potion."

Nadal hit back in a press conference on Monday in London.

"What he said is completely stupid. This guy does not deserve to write in newspapers any more," he told journalists.

Spain's success across a number of sports has been remarkable in recent years. 

The football team are World Cup and European Championship holders while the country's basketball team has enjoyed similar success. 

Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador has won the Tour de France in three of the last five years.

"He knows better than anybody that to say that today is a totally stupid thing because you know how many anti-doping controls we have during the season, year by year," said Nadal.

"So in my opinion, the article that he wrote was from a kid and when one kid says something it's not painful for us." 

51-year-old Noah is hugely popular in France and regularly tops an annual poll to find the country's most popular personality. His major triumph was winning the French Open in 1983, the last French player to win the title.

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