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“Anaesthetic injections are not prohibited. It’s not an oversight” – WADA defends Rafa Nadal amidst doping allegations

French cyclist Thibaut Pinot called out Nadal for using anesthesia injections during French Open.

Abhishek Sandikar Author

Updated - 12 June 2022 11:09 am

After winning his 14th Roland Garros title, Rafael Nadal has received quite some criticism from fellow athletes. The backlash followed after Rafa opened up about using anesthesia injections for helping his injured foot during the entire two weeks of the French Open tournament. But the Spaniard has been defended by the World Anti-Doping Agency themselves.

French cyclist Thibaut Pinot had talked about Nadal and tweeted, “Today’s heroes…. The methods [used by Rafael Nadal] are simply prohibited in my sport, which is unfortunately so decried. Here is a little more precision on the sadness of my tweet.”

“Anaesthetic injections are not prohibited. It’s not an oversight,” Niggli 

But the Director-General of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Olivier Niggli denied that anesthetic injections have any influence on the performance of an athlete. While talking on the Swiss TV channel RTS he said, “If a product is on the list of prohibited products, it means that it has an effect on performance, that it is bad for health, and that it is contrary to the ethics of sport.”

“Anaesthetic injections are not prohibited. It’s not an oversight. The question arose. It was discussed. They are not on the list because they do not improve performance and are fundamentally not bad,” Niggli said.

“It is probably not due to injections that he has won the 14th,” Niggli

“Is it a good medical practice? Is it acceptable for an elite athlete to get injections before a match? It’s a debate between doctors and a debate about medical ethics. Rafael Nadal has won 14 titles at Roland Garros. If he has won thirteen others without injections, it is probably not due to injections that he has won the 14th,” he added.

“ I do not want to put myself in that position again,” Nadal

Similarly talking about his future, Rafael Nadal also talked about how he would only participate in the All England Championship if he isn’t using the anesthetic injections. He said, “Wimbledon is a priority, always has been a priority. If I’m able to play with anti-inflammatories yes. To play with anesthetic injections, I do not want to put myself in that position again.” 

“It can happen once but no, it’s not the philosophy of life I want to follow. Let’s see. I am always a positive guy and always expect the things are going the right way. Let’s be confident, let’s be positive and let’s see what’s going on.”


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