News broke on Friday that a Brazilian swimmer – presumed to be one of the top-four finishers in the men’s 100 freestyle at the ongoing Olympic Trials – had tested positive for a banned substance. One day later it was learned that the swimmer was Andre Luiz Calvelo, the winner of the men’s 100 free, leaving him provisionally suspended for the remainder of the competition.
Now, further details on the positive test have been revealed by Brazilian swimming website Best Swimming, which you can find here.
The article says that Calvelo’s positive stems from a surprise test done by the Brazilian Doping Control Authority on March 18 at the Team Brazil Training Center, based at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Complex in Rio de Janeiro.
The substance Calvelo popped for was reportedly drostanolone propionate, an androgen and anabolic steroid primarily used as a medication to treat breast cancer patients (though it is no longer marketed). The substance, sold under various brand names including Drolban, Masteril and Masteron, has strong anti-estrogenic properties and has been popularized as a bodybuilding agent to increase muscle mass.
The expectation is that, given the properties of drostanolone propionate, Calvelo won’t have an affirmative defense for taking the steroid.
The 20-year-old faces a maximum penalty of four years.
The most well-known positive test for the drug in Brazil came from UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, one of the country’s most popular athletes, who received a one-year suspension for the steroid back in 2015.
Fellow Brazilian sprinter Gabriel Santos – who tested positive for the anabolic steroid clostebol in 2019 before being found to be without fault – was awarded a swim-off as the ninth-place finisher in the 100 free after news of Calvelo’s positive test broke. Santos posted a time of 48.49 to secure himself a spot both individually and on the 400 free relay.
However, Brazil’s Superior Court of Sports Justice (STJD) has issued an injunction on the selection for the time being, leaving Santos’ spot on the Olympic team up in the air.