Multiple Grand Slam winner and currently World number Eight Rafael Nadal came out in support of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and its efforts to keep the sports clean amidst reports of a second round of cyber attacks on the medical records of Olympic champions and other top athletes.
Speaking after the draw of the world group play off between India and Spain, held in the capital on Thursday evening, Nadal said, "We can't go on creating a negative image of the sport. It should be clean and look clean. We have an anti-doping program and I believe in it. We cannot believe all that is said.” He will lead a full strength Spanish team against a weak India.
Nadal's reactions come in the wake of WADA confirming the online release of medical records of two-time Wimbledon singles champion Petra Kvitova, two Tour de France winners—Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, and an Olympic discus gold medalist Robert Harting on Thursday. WADA believes these have been done by Russian hackers in retaliation to the action taken by WADA and various international sports federations after a Russian whistleblower blew the lid off an allegedly state sponsored widespread doping programme.
Earlier, medical records of gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams were among the four American female Olympians whose data was revealed on Tuesday. The four athletes named are part of a group of 25, whose medical records were posted online through cyber attacks on WADA data. All 29 cases revealed records of "Therapeutic Use Exemptions" which allow athletes to use otherwise-banned substances because of a verified medical need. There is no suggestion any of the athletes broke any rules. The athletes’ fraternity shrugged of these attacks saying their records and use of TUE were publicly known facts.
“We can't make a fuss every two weeks. I believe in the anti-doping program 100 per cent. I know how hard it is to compete at the highest level and believe in the anti-doping program," Nadal said.