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Spanish sports stars including Rafael Nadal and Pep Gardiola have reacted with fury to comments from French tennis great Yannick Noah that doping was widespread in Spanish sport.

Noah's comments come as the Court of Arbitration for Sport begins its study of an appeal by cycling's governing body the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) into a decision by the Spanish Cycling Federation to clear Contador of charges of doping after he tested positive for clenbuterol at last year's Tour de France.

However, speaking in London where he is currently competing at the end of season World Tour Finals, Nadal dismissed Noah's comments as "stupid."

"This guy does not deserve to write in newspapers anymore," was the ten-time Grand Slam champion's response. "What he said is completely stupid.

"He knows better than anybody that to say that today is a totally stupid thing because you know how many anti-doping controls we have during the season, year by year.

"So in my opinion, the article that he wrote was from a kid and when one kid says something it's not painful for us."

Guardiola, coach of defending Spanish and European champions Barcelona, also reacted angrily when asked for his thoughts on Noah's comments.

"This man can either show some proof or he can shut up," Guardiola said on Saturday following Barcelona's 4-0 win over Zaragoza that maintained their unbeaten start to the season.

Noah's claims also drew sharp criticism within France, with two-time Olympic judo champion David Douillet -- now the country's sports minister -- describing them as "serious and irresponsible."

France's number one tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said: "It would be nice to have some proof. For the moment, what he said is completely false because no proof exists."

Noah enjoys widespread popularity in France and is best remembered for being the last Frenchman to win the French Open at Roland-Garros, in 1983.

Since retiring from tennis, he has gone on to enjoy a successful career as a pop singer, while his son Joakim is a professional basketball player with the Chicago Bulls in the NBA.



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Nadal comes out swinging in doping row
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