Brazilian Court Pauses Olympic Selection After Santos’ Unconventional Berth

Brazil’s Superior Court of Sports Justice (STJD) has issued an injunction temporarily stopping the nation’s Olympic 4×100 free relay selection, per, until the court can decide whether Gabriel Santos should be selected or not.

The injunction comes after a positive doping test threw a wrench into Brazil’s selection process. Midway through the Brazilian Olympic Trials, the nation’s doping control authority provisionally suspended Andre Luiz Calvelo, who had won the 100 free and booked an Olympic berth both individually and as part of the 4×100 free relay. Per the Brazilian federation, the positive test came in mid-March.

The Brazilian federation opted to give the 9th-place finisher, Santosa time trial with potential for Olympic selection, if Calvelo’s provisional suspension is upheld. Santos took advantage, blasting a 48.49 and booking an Olympic bid, both individually and as part of the 4×100 free relay.

Had Santos not been given the time trial opportunity, fifth-place finisher Felipe Ribeiro (48.87) would have been selected as the fourth relay swimmer. Brazil would have had only one individual entrant in the 100 free, as only Calvelo and Pedro Spajari had hit the FINA A cut.

Ribeiro’s club, Unisanta, filed a protest – per – asking for Santos’ time to be annulled and Ribeiro added to the Olympic team. The STJD didn’t fully overturn Santos’ time, but did suspend Olympic selection in the men’s 4×100 free relay while the court assesses whether the time trial given to Santos was allowable.

The Brazilian federation defended its decision to offer the time trial, noting that Ribeiro had two chances to swim a 100 free (prelims and finals), while Santos only had one (prelims) before his time trial.

“We didn’t give Santos zero chances, we didn’t give two chances. We gave one chance, just like everyone else,” Brazilian Swimming Federation Vice President Renato Cordani said in the Globo report.

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1 year ago

Ok I dont understand why the 9th place person is even I the discussion. But to be fair to all re swim 2 thru 9 and a specified date so they all get the chance to prove themselves. Otherwise drop 1st place and grab the next 4(2nd thru 5th)
Just because someone under played his hand and went too slow in the prelims but has been an Olympian before is not a good enough reason to give him a shot. Ridiculous

1 year ago

I understand the logic of giving the 9th finisher the opportunity to swim the race he didn’t swim because of the cheater … But, on the other hand, a time trial without turbulence from other swimmers is nothing like an actual final … Tough choice.

Reply to  Luigi
1 year ago

I would rather have someone to race, waves or otherwise, than swim alone. No way I go faster alone.

1 year ago

This is an interesting case. I think you remove the top cheater, then offer the next 8 the chance to race the clock again. Keep your time or take another shot. Take the best times and fill the relay or add the individuals who qualify. Not sure just giving #9 the chance to race was the correct choice, but I understand the reasoning for wanting to get 8 “finalists” and why giving Mr. #9 the shot was an option. Just not the right one in retrospect.

1 year ago

They should have had the original 5th-8th finalists and Santos all swim

Reply to  Comet
1 year ago

^ obvious to the point of absurdity

Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Man, I wish Ribiero would file a civil suit against Santos and win it. If there were some precedent for getting your ass sued into oblivion for doping and screwing up others’ chances, it might give all the cheaters some pause. Right now, they just get to move down the road with no consequence except their suspension.

Max C
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Wrong guy?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Max C
1 year ago

Reading is hrd.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

I think he doesn’t know that Santos was suspended for doping a few years ago.

1 year ago

I agree. Santos should’ve been in the final and therefore the time trial makes up for it. However, to save us from the drama, bring Ribeiro as a relay only heat swimmer…

Reply to  Nick
1 year ago

I kinda saw this coming… He had clean water the whole way. I really like this idea though!

1 year ago

Just because the first place was caught in doping now the fourth and fifth place won’t be able to go to the Olympics because the Olympic Comite banned the 4×100 free to compete? Seems unfair with Marcelo and Breno Correia who are the ones that truly deserve the spot…

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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