‘Rafael Nadal did not cheat in any way’, says expert

On Sunday, Rafael Nadal conquered his 14th Roland Garros. The Spanish champion, who had arrived in Paris in precarious conditions, had to undergo several infiltrations to anesthetize his aching foot. After surviving two real battles against Felix Auger-Aliassime and Novak Djokovic, the former world number 1 benefited from Alexander Zverev’s retirement in the semifinals. The German sustained a serious ankle injury just before the second set tiebreak and was forced to raise the white flag. The final against Casper Ruud had no history, with the Norwegian who even got a bagel in the third quarter. Having won his first two Grand Slams of the year, the 36-year-old from Manacor has widened the gap that separates him from his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. If he manages to relieve the pain in his foot, Rafa will also take part in Wimbledon (which starts on Monday 27 June). During an interview with the French newspaper ‘Ouest-France’, Dr Adrien Roux expressed his opinion on the treatment Nadal underwent during Roland Garros.

Roux opens up on Nadal

“From a legal point of view, no. Rafael Nadal did not cheat in any way, there are no regulations preventing injections of anesthetics in tennis. Moreover, injectable anesthetics do not have anabolic or exciting properties, whatever their mode of administration,” Roux said. “This is not the case with corticosteroids taken orally, which can have an anabolic effect taken on a regular basis.” However, Roux agreed with those who felt that the injections enabled the 36-year-old to perform better physically and mentally. “But in my opinion, this poses a real problem. The definition of doping is an external chemical substance that will make you perform better, physically or mentally. There, we put a nerve to sleep to put a painful area to sleep, even ultra-painful because its pathology is “a lot of pain”. A normal individual could probably barely walk without pain,” Roux said. “I think putting this nerve to sleep improves his performance at the time in the sense that it helps to reduce his pain, perhaps even erase it, which allows him to maintain his usual level of performance,” Roux said. “The pain normally reduces performance, but the injection allows him to be as efficient, so to have had recourse to help to improve his performance as an injured athlete. From an ethical point of view, it is highly questionable,” he added. King of clay Rafael Nadal is the best performer in the French Open. With a record fourteenth title win on Sunday, the 36-year-old also became the oldest Roland Garros champion ever.