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Posted: Friday May 29, 2009 6:58PM; Updated: Friday May 29, 2009 6:58PM

Nadal calls on ITF to help players against WADA

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PARIS (AP) -- Rafael Nadal called on the International Tennis Federation to stick up for players against the World Anti-Doping Agency's out-of-competition drug-testing rules.

Nadal has criticized the rule in the past, and did so again Friday at the French Open.

"I know that drugs is not an easy matter to deal with, but we've paid the price for this," Nadal said through a tournament translator. "And, in fact, the ITF should take measures. I don't have the impression that it's good to put so much pressure on us. They harass us, I think."

A new WADA rule says athletes must say where they will be for one hour each day, so they can be found for testing. Serena Williams is among the tennis players who say that's too invasive, and Nadal complained that it's tough to keep WADA updated on his whereabouts.

"The ITF should do something about it," Nadal said.

"It's not nice they are at your room at 8 in the morning. They call you and say, 'We are here,' and you have two more hours for sleep, no?" Nadal said. "That's not nice."

Nadal also backed his pal, Richard Gasquet, a promising French player who allegedly tested positive for cocaine.

"OK, Gasquet has been tested. I support him. I'm certain that he's not taking anything. He's not taking cocaine," Nadal said. "I know him. He's a good friend of mine, and I discussed this with him last week.

"No, no, impossible. He's most certainly not taking cocaine. ... If you kiss a girl who's taken cocaine, anything can happen, and that's the truth. That's reality, and this can destroy your life or your career, rather, and this is most unfair."

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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