Former French player Arnaud Clement is confident that Rafael Nadal did not use any of the banned substances during the 2022 French Open, despite accusations from other athletes and the media.
Speaking about the fresh doping controversy in the tennis world after Simona Halep, Fernando Verdasco, and Kamil Majchrzak recently tested positive, Clement mentioned Nadal’s case and stated that he was sure about the ethics of the Mallorcan and that he wouldn’t have used drugs to win.
“I never asked myself the question in relation to Rafael Nadal, especially after the last Roland Garros, everything he did. In addition, he even almost made it public. So at some point, there are rules, we follow them or we go beyond them, but in no case, Rafael Nadal was on drugs, I believe. I have absolutely no doubts about the ethics of this player,” Clement told Eurosport.
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The 45-year-old Frenchman also said:
“It’s not because a player is particularly physical or athletic that he is doped. You have to be careful with this kind of shortcut. We could also see players who were taken for doping and we said to ourselves, ‘but no, not him, it’s weird’, because it’s not the physics we imagine for a doped guy.”
The Spaniard, who won a record-extending 14th Roland Garros title in June, has been dealing with a foot problem called Müller-Weiss syndrome since 2005. After the Grand Slam tournament ended, he revealed that he had been using anesthetic injections and anti-inflammatories to reduce the pain.
However, French cyclists Guillaume Martin and Thibaut Pinot accused the World No. 2 of doping, saying that a similar practice was not allowed in cycling. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Spanish Society of Sports Medicine responded by dismissing the allegations against the tennis icon, saying that anesthetic injections were neither on the list of prohibited substances nor banned in cycling by the International Cycling Union