Bengaluru, March 10: Ace tennis player Rafael Nadal on Wednesday said his fellow professional Maria Sharapova deserved to be punished after failing a drug test at the Australian Open in January.
The glamorous Russian star tested positive for Melodonium, a substance which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of the 'banned' earlier this year.
Sharapova acknowledged this on Monday and hoped she would be allowed to play again. She was provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation after she failed the test.
Nadal, 29, said it was amistake for Sharapova but opined that the latter deseved to te punished for "negligence".
Nadal, who was at the Indian Wells tournament, also defended himself saying he had never used a banned substance to enhance his performance while replying to unfounded rumours. The 14-time grand-slam winner, who has been hit by injury in recent years, said he has always been far from doping.
"I am a completely clean guy," he said, as per agency reports. He said he believed in the values of the sport which is an example for the society. It is an example for children and if I am doing something that goes against it, I will be lying to myself, the Spanish player said.
The tennis fraternity has also expressed its shock over the Sharapova issue earlier this week.