Stop throwing stones at Rafael Nadal

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Stop throwing stones at Rafael Nadal

We all need heroes to look up to and draw inspiration from to get through our lives. When such heroes are exposed of their wrongdoings, they take away our faith, and also the joy of acknowledging and admiring something wholeheartedly.

That’s what Lance Armstrong had done, or Marion Jones or Carl Lewis for that matter. Some of the legends in sports have feet of clay, true, but that doesn’t give us the liberty to accuse someone of breach without any valid proof.

I’m talking about the doping allegations made against Rafael Nadal in the wake of his stem cell treatment for his ailing back. What is PRP ? PRP or Plasma Rich Platelet therapy is a method of treatment involving stem cells.

In this process, blood is drawn from a patient’s body and through centrifugation, the blood platelets -- which are responsible for the production of proteins that help in cell growth and repair -- are separated from the other blood cells.

Thus obtained PRP will have high platelet level, which help accelerate the healing process when being re-injected on the affected body part. Because it involves certain growth factors, the procedure was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for a short period in 2010.

The decision was repealed a year later, citing that the amount of blood involved is relatively less to consider it performance enhancing. Although WADA is against PRP injections in muscles, it does allow the same to be used on torn ligaments, tendons or other connective tissues like cartilages.

Tiger Woods had undergone PRP therapy for his Achilles surgery in 2010. It was more like an experimental procedure then, surrounded by a lot of ambiguity even regarding its effectiveness. Nadal underwent this procedure for the first time when he had to stay off the court owing to tendinitis in his knee during the later half of 2012.

The treatment proved to be effective as Nadal was able to reclaim his top spot the following year, with a total 10 titles and a 65-4 win-loss record.