Rafael Nadal had a magnificent start to the year as he won his 21st Grand Slam in January at the Australian Open. The Spaniard has a record number of major titles in men’s singles tennis history. And recently added one more major title under his name with his 14th title win at the Roland Garros in Paris. However, Rafa had to go through a lot of drama between these two major victories, and it seems like the story has not ended yet. The 36-year-old suffered a rib stress fracture at the Indian Wells. The incident sidelined him for more than a month. Rafa also had to miss the Miami Open and a few tournaments at the start of the clay season. The Spaniard finally returned to play at the Madrid Open, where Carlos Alcaraz beat him.
Next, Nadal participated in the Italian Open, where he was seen struggling with his chronic foot injury that resurfaced again ahead of the French Open. Rafa was in a lot of pain, and his participation in Paris was questionable. However, Nadal decided to play through his pain and called his doctor for assistance during the Roland Garros. He was reportedly taking painkiller injections during matches to continue with his injury throughout the tournament. Eventually, Rafael succeeded in winning his 14th major tile in Paris. However, the victory at the French Open did come along with some controversy.
After Nadal’s Roland Garros win, questions regarding the injections the Spaniards used during the tournament, and their legality became a major issue. The World Anti-Doping Agency publicly clarified that the painkillers Nadal used during the tournament were legal. However, a small group of road cyclists has claimed that it would have been considered doping in the sport, which was left deeply scarred by lance Armstrong’s doping scandal.
Patrick McEnroe Defends Nadal Over Doping Row
Patrick McEnroe said that people should stop targetting Nadal with unproven accusations. He told that if Nadal said he was taking painkillers, McEnroe had got to believe the Spaniard. He asked everybody who is claiming that Nadal is doping needed to prove it. McEnroe added, “If you do prove it, well, then. Lance Armstrong, he never proved it. He claimed that he took a bunch of tests as well.”
Patrick did not even expect such a controversy against Nadal as he does not believe Rafa would do anything unethical to win. The 55-year-old claimed that the accusations were just a bunch of conspiracy theories floating around in the tennis world. McEnroe believed that the talks about Nadal’s doping were a conspiracy. The American tennis star added, “Look, they test him all the time at the majors. And whatever they’re putting in his ankle, I think it’s just a painkiller.”