Pinot and Martin react to Nadal injections: “Today’s heroes…”
Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at 09:32
After winning Roland Garros for the fourteenth time, tennis player Rafael Nadal revealed he had been given injections during the tournament to numb the pain of a persistent foot injury. Thibaut Pinot responded via Twitter on this announcement. “Today’s heroes…”, the Frenchman tweeted sarcastically. His compatriot Guillaume Martin also expressed his opinion.
Pinot, who previously spoke out about the use of certificates and ketones in the price, responded to a tweet from Nadal himself. In this tweet, the Spanish athlete had argued that it was better not to know how many injections he had received during Roland Garros. Pinot’s comment was followed by two emojis: one with a suspicious face and one with a melting face. The Frenchman did not elaborate further on the matter.
However, the Groupama-FDJ rider later retweeted Clémence Lacour, an investigative journalist, who summarized Pinot’s attitude: “His (Pinots, ed.) tweet ironically speaks of ‘the heroes of today’. These heroes choose performance at the expense of their bodies and want to perform despite physical problems so bad that they have to put it to sleep (Nadal had said that his foot was put to sleep by the injections, ed.). Is this the example we want for ourselves and our children?”
Martin: “What Nadal did would be impossible in cycling”
Another French rider, Guillaume Martin, talked to L’Equipe in more detail on the Nadal case. “What Nadal did would be impossible in cycling, and I think that’s normal. If you’re sick or injured, you don’t race, you don’t compete. That makes sense to me, for several reasons. First, for the health of the athletes. In the long run I don’t know if it will do well for Nadal’s ankle. In addition, medication, and especially injections, has no healing effect. They can definitely have effects on performance or be twisted to improve performance, so it seems really borderline to me.”
Martin also notices that there is a big cultural difference between, for example, tennis and cycling. “If a cyclist did such a thing, it would be illegal, but even if it didn’t, everyone would fall for it and brand him doped. There is such a cultural background, such clichés about cycling.”
“At the same time, people are praising Nadal because he can suffer so much pain. I believe that Zlatan Ibrahimovic (footballer at AC Milan, ed.) also spoke about injections in his knee. They are seen as heroes because they can suffer so much pain, but in reality they are helped by means to be able to do so. And again, that’s really borderline. The winner in cycling, and in the Tour in particular, is systematically accused of doping, even if nothing is wrong.”
Own ethical code
Martin sees a great responsibility for riders themselves to determine how far they go. “The UCI rules are, as far as I am concerned, a minimum. There are many things that are allowed, but I forbid myself. It’s a big gray area, twisting certain medications that are normally used for treatment, for example for cancer or multiple sclerosis. I don’t see myself taking such a thing to become a better cyclist, even if it’s allowed.”
“The anti-doping authorities are always one step behind, so I don’t think we should wait for them to take a stand before taking a stand ourselves. It is up to each person to construct their own code of ethics. I accept that sometimes my results are worse because of that code, but nevertheless I stay close to myself and I am happy about that.”