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Ex-France minister has to pay damages to Rafael Nadal

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PARIS (AP) Former French minister for health and sport Roselyne Bachelot has been ordered to pay 10,000 euros ($11,800) in damages to Rafael Nadal after accusing him of doping.

In March last year, Bachelot said on a French television show that Nadal’s seven-month injury layoff in 2012 was “probably due to a positive doping test.”

Nadal, who has won 16 Grand Slam titles, filed a defamation suit against Bachelot in Paris.

Bachelot was also ordered by the French tribunal to pay Nadal a suspended fine of 500 euros ($590).

In April 2016, Nadal wrote to the president of the International Tennis Federation asking for all of his drug-test results and blood profile records to be made public. In the same letter, the Spanish player said of Bachelot: “It is unacceptable and mostly unfair that someone that should have knowledge of sports to a certain point and degree can publicly say something like this with no proof or evidence.”

Two-time champ Azarenka gets Australian Open wild card

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka has been awarded a wild card for the Australian Open.

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, has been involved in a custody dispute involving her son Leo, who was born last Dec. 19.

She hasn’t competed anywhere since Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10. The dispute with her former partner started shortly after Wimbledon ended.

Azarenka has played only six matches this year and is ranked 208th.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Wednesday that every assistance would be provided to the former No. 1, adding “Vika’s current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can.”

The Australian Open starts on Jan. 15.

Nadal, Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards

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LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.

At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.

The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.

“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”