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Christophe Rochus Steroid Suspicions Piss Off Rafael Nadal's Coach

Christophe Rochus Steroid Suspicions Piss Off Rafael Nadal's Coach

Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal defeated Juan Martin del Potro at the BNP Paribas Opens in Indian Wells last week to prove he is still one of the world's top tennis players. The match victory capped a 17-1 record so far this year in a dramatic comeback from a knee injury that sidelined Nadal for seven months. Of course, with all the steroid hysteria in sports, Nadal's performance has not come without suspicions.

In January, retired tennis player Christophe Rochus told the Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure that steroids were rampant in professional tennis. Top tennis officials and players simply refused to acknowledge it according to Rochus.

"There's a lot of cheating. Simply, people don't like to talk about it," Rochus said. "I simply would like to stop the pretending. This hypocrisy is exasperating."

Rochus expressed his suspicions about Nadal and the possibility that the Spaniard may have used steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. As the basis for his suspicions, Rochus cited Nadal's history of alternating between periods of total dominance and periods of injury.

"As for Rafa Nadal, they're just rumours, but everyone's asking the question: How can he be so strong at Roland Garros and then just a month later, apparently he's unable to play?”


Even though Rochus has never been a major figure in the world of tennis, he did at one point achieve a career-high men's singles ranking of 38th in the world during his 13-year career as a professional tennis player. Given his extensive time in the sport, his accusations about steroid use and doping in tennis created quite a stir. 

Top tennis officials and top tennis players have all condemned Rochus for the comments and have proclaimed tennis to be one of the cleanest sport.

Toni Nadal, the uncle and long-time coach of Rafa, was especially irritated at Rochus' comments regarding his nephew. In his criticism of Rochus, Toni reaffirmed Rafa's lifelong natural status and refusal to consider using steroids or PEDs.

"He is a real imbecile because if you knew something, I think it would be right to say it,” Toni said. “But knowing, as I think he must know, that Rafael has never taken anything in his life and never will, I find it incredible that an idiot like this can say what he said."

Rochus has suggested that legalizing PEDs in sports would be one method of dealing with the doping problem in tennis. 

Toni Nadal, on the other hand, doesn't see a doping problem but has jumped on the bandwagon calling for increased steroid testing as a means to put the doping suspicions to rest.


Huffington Post UK. (March 21, 2013). Rafa Nadal's Uncle Calls Christophe Rochus An 'Imbecile' For Doping Comments. Retrieved from //

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