Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has come under scathing criticism after winning the 2022 French Open after receiving injections to help play through foot pain. Nadal aggravated his long foot injury at the Italian Open against Denis Shapovalov in the third round.
Pinot Thibaut, considered one of the most promising French cyclists, took to Twitter to question the legitimacy of the injections received by Nadal. Thibaut thinks there have been far too many occasions recently where athletes have taken multiple drugs and injections to be able to play.
“Today’s heroes. Why? Because I have my convictions, a way of seeing sport and sports performance other than yours perhaps? My tweet (3 words) which is causing so much reaction fell on Nadal but it could have been (emoticons from different sports),” Thibaut wrote.
The French cyclist also reiterated that he does not question Rafael Nadal’s career or talent as a player. He said he was simply saying that there have been far too many examples of such practice in sport these days.
“In no way is his career or his talent called into question here. We have seen too many athletes using this kind of practice in recent weeks. I almost lost 2 years of probably the best careers to take care of my back, it was difficult but I’m proud of it today,” he added.
Another cyclist, Guillaume Martin, also expressed his displeasure at seeing Nadal taking a bunch of injections to play at Roland-Garros this year. In an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe, Martin said people would say a cyclist had doped if they took similar injections before a race.
“What Rafael Nadal did would have been impossible on the bike, and I find that normal. If we are sick or injured, we don’t race, we don’t compete, that seems like common sense to me. In the long term , I’m not sure it will do Nadal’s ankle any good Medication and injections not only have a curative effect, they can definitely improve performance If a cyclist did the same thing, even if it’s not was not banned, everyone would fall for him to call him doped,” Martin said.
“Methods simply forbidden in my sport, unfortunately so decried” – Pinot Thibaut reiterates that he did not question Rafael Nadal’s victory at Roland-Garros
Pinot Thibaut clarified his comments about the injections and wanted to establish that he didn’t want to offend Nadal or question his French Open victory this year.
“Methods simply prohibited in my sport, unfortunately so decried. Here is a little more detail on the sadness of my tweet. Sorry if my answer fell on you. Sportingly”, wrote Thibaut.
Rafael Nadal says taking injections to play tennis is not the way to go. The Spaniard is set to undergo radio frequency ablations on his foot to help numb his pain for an extended period. The Spaniard added that he and his team will reassess future plans if the procedure does not go as planned.