By the Blouin News Sports staff

Doping shadow spreads beyond Sharapova

by in Tennis.

Rafael Nadal. (Source:  rafateersrule3/flickr)

Rafael Nadal. (Source: rafateersrule3/flickr)

A day after tennis star Maria Sharapova thanked her fans for their “loyalty” after revealing that she had failed a drug test at this year’s Australian Open, Rafael Nadal proclaimed himself innocent of doping.

Not that anyone had asked. At least, not specifically.

Insisting that he was a clean player who considered himself an ambassador of the sport, Nadal said he was tired of the rumors swirling around him for years and defended his training regimen and rehab methods for various injuries as completely legal and aboveboard.

All because a reporter had asked for his reaction to the Sharapova bombshell that she had long used the drug meldonium, a substance banned by the International Tennis Federation just this year.

Nadal’s defensiveness indicated that he and his colleagues on the circuit know all too well where the whispers and side-eyes will now turn. Publicly, Sharapova’s colleagues largely support her ….

….The rest of this article lives on Blouin News. Read it here.