Virginie Phulpin 07:25, June 07, 2022

Every day, the morning of Europe 1 returns to one of the sporting events which makes the news.

This Tuesday, Virginie Phulpin returns to the controversy around the foot of Rafael Nadal.

Some criticize the winner of Roland-Garros for having doped to hold on.

But can the fact of anesthetizing his foot be likened to doping?

Rafael Nadal returns home to Mallorca, with his 14th Musketeers Cup in his luggage.

But the Spaniard has something heavier to bear: the controversy over infiltrations to relieve his foot.

He did nothing illegal, but one can wonder about these practices. 

It becomes difficult to enjoy a moment of sport, to admire a performance without controversy getting involved.

Rafael Nadal's 14th title at Roland Garros was quickly followed by suspicion.

In fact, as soon as the player answered "it's better that you don't know" when a journalist asked him how many infiltrations he had received during the tournament to relieve his painful foot.

Infiltrations, it's almost a dirty word.

As soon as it is pronounced, we do not think of medicine or treatment, we think of doping.

A syringe plus a sportsman equals cheating.

Of course it challenges, to be obliged to receive infiltrations permanently to be able to play.

We must ask ourselves questions, it is legitimate.

But from there to treating Rafael Nadal as doped, there is a world.

What are these infiltrations?

A local anesthetic,

ie a product that acts directly on the desired area, in this case the nerves of his foot, to numb them.

And it turns out that it's not doping, it's allowed in tennis and in other sports like football.

So Rafael Nadal didn't do anything illegal, he didn't use any banned product.

You can imagine that if it was an illicit product, he would not have spoken about it during the whole fortnight with the greatest naturalness in the world. 

There are double standards in the fight against doping.

What ignited the powder after the coronation of Rafael Nadal was the reaction of Thibaut Pinot.

The cyclist went there with his ironic tweet “ah, the heroes today”.

We can understand his annoyance because cycling and tennis are not in the same boat.

The anesthetic we are talking about has been banned on bicycles for a good ten years, while it is legal on tennis courts.

That's a real problem, the difference in treatment.

It must be said that cycling has been so affected by doping problems that the fight there is fiercer than elsewhere.

Hide this syringe from me, which I cannot see.

I was talking about football earlier.

We also have a famous example of a player who regularly returns to the field thanks to infiltrations, it is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Otherwise, he couldn't play.

Why not standardize the list of prohibited products?

The same, in all sports.

It would avoid this kind of controversy, it would allow for equal treatment.

And then it would also preserve the health of athletes.

These anesthetics are not without danger.

Rafael Nadal said it, he will not do this treatment again for Wimbledon.

It means that it is not trivial.

The risk is in particular to damage these nerves, and to create even more pain.

So what do we do after, we increase the dose?

The case of Nadal must lead to reflection.

On the other hand, hitting a player who has done nothing illegal, no.

And then it would also preserve the health of athletes.

These anesthetics are not without danger.

Rafael Nadal said it, he will not do this treatment again for Wimbledon.

It means that it is not trivial.

The risk is in particular to damage these nerves, and to create even more pain.

So what do we do after, we increase the dose?

The case of Nadal must lead to reflection.

On the other hand, hitting a player who has done nothing illegal, no.

And then it would also preserve the health of athletes.

These anesthetics are not without danger.

Rafael Nadal said it, he will not do this treatment again for Wimbledon.

It means that it is not trivial.

The risk is in particular to damage these nerves, and to create even more pain.

So what do we do after, we increase the dose?

The case of Nadal must lead to reflection.

On the other hand, hitting a player who has done nothing illegal, no.

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