(AP) The president of Spain’s Olympic committee would like to see Rafael Nadal as the country’s flag bearer in Rio de Janeiro, in part to make a statement after recent doping accusations made against him.
It will be up to a group of federation presidents to pick the flag bearer, but Alejandro Blanco said Wednesday that Rafa deserves to be chosen for what he has done for Spanish sports.
Rafa was supposed to be the flag bearer at the 2012 London Olympics but got injured before the games and was replaced by NBA player Pau Gasol.
Speaking at a media event in Madrid, Blanco said having Rafa as Spain’s flag bearer would be important after the recent doping accusations made by former French Minister for Health and Sport Roselyne Bachelot, who claimed on French television that the Spaniard’s seven-month injury hiatus in 2012 was “probably due to a positive doping test.”
“Spanish sports owe him a lot,” Blanco said. “In Beijing, he was the athlete who was followed the most by the international media and by other athletes. Rafa Nadal took Spanish sports to another level.
“I think he should be the flag bearer, especially after how he has been treated. He deserves to feel that Spanish sports care about him.”
Source: Associated Press