Spanish tennis legend David Ferrer was not impressed with those who accused Rafael Nadal of using doping at the French Open. At the French Open, Nadal was using anesthetizing injections for two weeks straight to completely numb the pain in his foot.
After Nadal won the French Open, French cyclist Guillaume Martin suggested that Nadal used a prohibited substance and seemingly accused him of being doped. It led to WADA chief Olivier Niggli releasing a statement, in which he made it clear what Nadal used was not on the prohibited list.
“That is total ignorance, because in the end they pass the same ADAMS controls as anyone, it is the same control,” Ferrer told Super Deporte. “Playing [under anaesthesia] does not mean that you are doped or doing something illegal, it is simply an infiltration to be able to endure the pain at some point, which cyclists, tennis players, athletes, any type of sportsperson can do, because it is the same organization of all the sports.
Sometimes it amazes me that athletes without real knowledge can speak so freely.”
Ferrer defends Nadal from the doping accusations
After French cyclist Martin made his comments, it made rounds around the tennis community.
“If a cyclist does the same thing, it’s already forbidden,” Martin said in June. “But even if it weren’t, everyone would call him doped because there is such a cultural background, such connotations attached to the bike.
While people praise Nadal for being able to go this far in pain. I believe that [AC Milan forward] Zlatan Ibrahimovic also spoke about his knee injections. They pass for heroes because they go far in pain, but in fact, they use substances to go far in pain and again, it’s very borderline.
The winner on the bike, in particular that of the Tour de France, even if there is no element behind it, he is systematically accused of doping.” After winning the French Open, Nadal returned to Spain, where he underwent a radiofrequency ablation treatment for his foot problem. The foot responded well and Nadal was able to compete at the French Open.