Rafael Nadal Addresses Accusation That His Stem Cell Treatment Is A Possible Case Of Doping

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Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal leaves the hospital after appendicitis surgery in Barcelona November 5, 2014. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino
Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal leaves the hospital after appendicitis surgery in Barcelona November 5, 2014. Reuters

Some athletes have taken illegal substances to enhance their performance in their field of sport. Such activity is known as doping. Tennis star Rafael Nadal has spoken in a recent interview with a Spanish news outlet about a controversial accusation that the stem treatment that he recently had on his back falls in the category of doping in Italy.

In an interview with El Mundo, Nadal has brushed aside the doping accusation. "I do not think so," Nadal said. "I do not have all the information, but at the end of the day, we are governed by global standards, not Spanish or Italian," he added.

According to Nadal, he only do treatments that are allowed. He added that he would never do anything to jeopardise his health.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion had an injury-plagued 2014 season. He hurt his back during the Australian Open final in January and it dragged problems all season, which is why he decided to take the treatment. Nadal also explained how the stem cell treatment was done.

Nadal said that the doctor has taken plasma out of his blood and spun it in a centrifuge until only the growth factors were left. Then they were injected to him to regenerate the tissues of the affected area. Nadal said that the stem cell treatment was a little aggressive compared with his knee treatment because a hole was drilled on his back to extract the stem cells from the iliac crest. The stem cells were then cultivated and bred to try to help regenerate the tissues faster.

As a result of the stem cell treatment, Nadal's back is reportedly feeling a little bit better now. However, he still needs to observe it if it will heal completely.

Nadal is making use of his offseason to recover and get to his 100 percent form. He recently underwent appendectomy in November, aside from the knee and stem cell treatments he also had. He targets to return to action in January.

In addition to his offseason activities, Nadal has also been busy with his other side hustles. He will open a tennis academy in Majorca in 2016, Fox Sports reports. Nadal just held a groundbreaking ceremony where the academy will soon rise. He said that he has been working on the project for quite some time now and he's happy that it has finally come to fruition. Nadal's tennis academy will reportedly include a school so that future tennis stars will still get to finish their studies.