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Rafael Nadal has commenced a lawsuit against Roselyne Bachelot, after the former French cabinet minister accused the Spaniard of doping.
Bachelot, the Minister for Health and Sport from May 2007 to November 2010, last month said that Nadal's seven-month absence in 2012-13 was "probably due to a positive doping test".
The world number five responded by outlining his plans to sue, and the 14-time winner of Grand Slam events has now followed through on his threat.
"This legal proceeding was instigated after Miss Bachelot made offensive remarks last March on le Grand 8 programme on French channel D8," a statement from Nadal, released through his agent, read.
"Through this case, I intend not only to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete but also the values I have defended all my career.
"I wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished."
Nadal cited tendinitis and a virus for his absence from the 2012 Olympic Games, 2012 US Open and 2013 Australian Open, along with several other tournaments.
By David Maher