What he said:
“But what do I care if he says hello to me or not?" (via ESPN.com).
Yannick Noah is not regretful—one bit—for stirring up a hornet’s nest with his comments in French daily, Le Monde, accusing Spanish players of systemic doping.
Noah said that all players, not just Spanish, should have access to this “magic potion” that has Spaniards out-performing their French counterparts.
Noah defended his last week’s comments saying:
"If I chose this turn of phrase, it was to address the authorities…in order to start a debate."
"I am a bit frustrated that there are two weights and two measures in terms of doping, whether it’s Spain or another country. Of course all Spanish athletes aren’t doped…(But) are (the French) worse than the others? I don’t think so."
Noah’s remarks have been met with derision and widespread condemnation.
Rafael Nadal called for a media gag on Noah.
"I went through the same thing 30 years ago, when I was 20. I spoke about doping and drugs and everyone had a go at me. I couldn’t respond to everyone. To Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle, who’s told his nephew never to say hello to me again. But what do I care if he says hello to me or not?"
Noah pointed out existing cases of Spanish doping including high-profile names such as cyclist Alberto Contador and steeplechase champion Marta Dominguez.
"The cyclist who ate some meat that helped him pedal faster and who was cleared by his federation, the case of (Dominguez) stopped by the police and then cleared. My question is the following: Is this not all orchestrated? In the Puerto case, I have the feeling that the affair has been smothered, that names have been hidden."
The Frenchman reiterated his opposition to all forms of drug abuse:
I am against all forms of doping, but I’m hypersensitive when it comes to injustice. There are too many cheats winning these days. In Spain and elsewhere. At which point is an athlete considered to have doped? When he takes a product that makes him run faster, makes him stronger, helps him recover more quickly? Or when he tests positive? The answer to the question is not the same, depending on the country.
There are side effects which you never read about on the front pages of the newspapers. We know there have been problems in the past with Italian footballers who are now seriously ill.
What Yannick Noah really meant:
“We won’t have much to discuss anyway. I want to talk ‘dope.' He doesn’t.”
What Yannick Noah definitely didn’t:
“It’s only words
And words are all I have
To take your pride and titles away.”
Read Yannick Noah’s full interview to Le Monde here.
Also read http://bleacherreport.com/articles/949819-yannick-noah-what-he-said-really-meant-and-definitely-did-not