Brazil’s Superior Court of Sports Justice (STJD) has issued an injunction temporarily stopping the nation’s Olympic 4×100 free relay selection, per Globo.com, 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, Santos, a 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 Globo.com – 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.