Brazil’s doping control agency, ABCD, has added 200 athletes to a special Target Group for anti-doping monitoring in an effort to make the nation’s medal hopefuls extra prepared for next summer’s Olympic Games.
The list targets selected Brazilian athletes who have good chances to medal at next summer’s Olympic or Paralympic Games, both of which will be held in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil is hoping for an impressive medal haul in front of its home crowd, and this extra anti-doping measure appears to be one more way for the nation to ‘cover its bases’, so to speak, in making sure none of those medals become the subject of positive doping tests.
Brazil’s list doesn’t include it’s most well-known athletes like world record-holding sprinter Cesar Cielo, the rationale being that Cielo and other athletes at his level are already part of extra anti-doping test groups in the international federations for their respective sports. Cielo, for example, is already in FINA’s testing pool and is subject to multiple anti-doping tests at any time. Brazil’s list looks to include a wider range of athletes in a regular testing program instead of doubling up tests on its top performers.
Three able-bodied swimmers and nineteen para-swimmers are included on Brazil’s new list. That group includes rising female sprinter Graciele Herrmann and male sprinters Marcelo Chierighini and Nicolas Oliveira.
Herrman held the South American and Brazilian records in the 50 free at one point last year, though her teammate Etiene Medeiros topped her mark by .02 later in the year. Chierighini is a former NCAA champion with Auburn, and Oliveira is a longtime relay contributor.
All three probably stand their best shots at Olympic medals in the sprint free relays, long a point of pride for Brazilian swimming. Subjecting them to extra anti-doping testing appears to be Brazil doing its due diligence to make sure no potential Olympic relay medals get stripped due to one member’s failed test, the way Russia’s world record-setting and European Championship gold medal-winning relays were after Yulia Efimova‘s doping suspension last year.
GloboEsporte reported the full list this week; you can read that piece in its original Portuguese here. Globo reports that the athletes on the list have to file paperwork with the ABCD giving their location for a one-hour window each day so that doping control agents can find them for a test on any given day, much like how the FINA doping pool works.