(Update: the CBDA has announced replacements for both swimmers. See details here.)
There’s a new angle arising in the Cesar Cielo-Brazilian Doping Scandal. If we’re going on the premise that FINA will not overturn the CBDA’s decision (which at this point is not a given), the athletes will not totally escape punishment. The CBDA did invalidate all results and awards earned at the Maria Lenk Trophy (aka Brazilian Nationals), which is the meet at which they tested positive.
For Vinicius Waked, who did not make the World Championships roster, this is disappointing but a mere slap on the wrist.
For Cesar Cielo, who had previously achieved World Championship spots at others of the three Brazilian qualifying meets, this still acts as just a minor inconvenience of a punishment.
But two swimmers could potentially be the recipient of the most severe punishment, regardless of what FINA or the Court for Arbirtration of Sport might decide: Henrique Barbosa and Nicholas Santos. That’s because the pair only earned their spots in Shanghai based on results of the Maria Lenk Trophy that are now invalid.
At that meet, Barbosa finished 3rd in the final of the 200 breaststroke, but had the 2nd-fastest time overall from the meet, which meant that he earned the right to swim the event in Shanghai. With that time cleared from the books, however, silver medalists (and 3rd-fastest overall) Tales Cerdeira would now be entitled to the spot. Of course, these spots are based on the faster CBDA times, not the FINA automatic qualifying team, so the CBDA could still make an executive decision to waive those qualifying times.
CBDA hasn’t made an official decision on the issue yet, but says that they are examining the regulations. At the very least, it seems pretty clear-cut that Barbosa would lose his spot. Whether or not he can be replaced with Cerdeira is up for some debate, as the official FINA entry deadline passed last Friday, July 1st.
As far as Nicholas Santos, his only bid for Shanghai was in the 400 free relay. This will be a really dicey situation, because CBDA rules said that Brazil would take the four fastest swimmers from across the three qualifying meets. They already appear to have added a 5th to the relay, but without his Maria Lenk time, Santos falls to 8th in the Brazilian rankings. This means that, by rule, he should be out of both that relay, as well as the 50 fly, where he has a chance to medal. Brazil said that it would not accept qualifiers in non-Olympic events if they were not already admitted to the meet.
In this instance, it seems as though the Brazilians will have more leeway. Because they will have taken the 4 fastest 100 freestylers by adding Chierigini to the group, they could make an argument (and fall within their own rules) that they are taking the 4 fastest sprinters, so adding another swimmer to the relay alternate is at the coaches’ discretion (just like it was when they added Chierighini originally).