Brazilian Sprinter Gabriel Santos Lands 8-Month Suspension for Testing Positive

Brazilian sprinter Gabriel Santos has received an eight-month suspension, retroactive to May 20, for testing positive for an anabolic steroid, Brazilian site Globe Esporte reported Friday.

We reported last month that the 23-year-old had reportedly tested positive for the banned substance Clostebol in an out-of-competition test. The substance is considered a weak anabolic androgenic steroid on its own, but was used as one ingredient of oral turinabol, a staple of the East German state-sponsored doping program back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Santos, originally named to Brazil’s 2019 FINA World Championships squad, traveled with the team to Gwangju, where his doping panel hearing took place. The exact details and findings of the panel have yet to be released, and only the suspension has been announced.

According to Globo Esporte, Santos claimed he came into contact with the substance accidentally, by wearing his brother’s towel or garment days before the May 20 test. Santos had reportedly spent a few days at home, and his brother used an aftershave ointment that contained the substance that was detected.

The doping panel allegedly accepted this defense and reduced Santos’ sentence because of it, only punishing him for “negligence.” Brazilian National Team coach Alberto Pinto da Silva, CBDA doctor Rodrigo Brochetto Ferreira and lawyer Stefano Malviesto were present at the hearing along with Santos.

Originally, Santos’ primary defense has been that the substance was present in a topical ointment used on a new tattoo, or that it absorbed after contact with his girlfriend, who also used the substance on a tattoo. Clobestasol is, in fact, a common ingredient in topical medication used to treat inflammation and itching caused by a number of skin conditions, including tattoos.

Santos’ suspension will end January 19, 2020, with plenty of time to return for Tokyo 2020, but as for now, he must leave the Athletes’ Village where he was staying with the Brazilian delegation for Worlds, and immediately return to Brazil. During the suspension, he cannot train with Pinheiros or under coach Pinto da Silva. At the beginning of December, 45 days before the end of his suspension, Santos can resume training with the team and coach. His recent results from the Mare Nostrum in Barcelona, ​​the French Open, and Sette Colli Trophy in Italy are voided.

Santos had also recently been signed to the ISL’s DC Trident, but the league has a zero-tolerance doping policy, and he was quickly suspended.

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2 years ago

We really blaming the aftershave now

Reply to  Jimbo
2 years ago

Seriously. Just learn a lesson from the North Korean women’s soccer team and say you got struck by lightning and part of the treatment used deer musk glands that inadvertently caused a positive test. It’s a flawless alibi.

2 years ago

I found some info after that that I would like someone to confirm.

Some sources are saying they won´t use Calvelo on the relays, and that the relay-only swimmer must swim rule only applies to Olympic Games, not Worlds. Can anybody confirm the actual rule?

Reply to  Rafael
2 years ago

There is no mention of relay-only swimmers having to race at Worlds. It is only mentioned in the Olympic qualifying documents.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Thanks Braden! So I would not be surprised if Calvelo only swim at Pan AM this year..

2 years ago

My brother’s underwear and aftershave defense. Wow.

Easy E
2 years ago

Clobetasol is not the same as clostebol.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

It’s that thing where you trip and fall into a pile of clothes and there’s some anabolic steroids in some aftershave that your brother used on a towel in there. You know, that thing.

Easy E
Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

It’s conceivable that this is accidental:

“In Brazil, clostebol acetate is present in medicines for dermatologic and gynecologic treatments, whereas in the US, the Food and Drug Administration does not approve of the use of medicines that contain anabolic agents.”

It’s also possible that an attorney copied and pasted an old case to defend Santos.

Also, it is convenient/inconvenient that clostebol is both anabolic and widely available as a topical treatment. There’s a believable out if you are using it to dope and get caught and there is a risk that you can accidentally come into contact with this.

2 years ago

Well, shucks. I better modify my Pick ems!

2 years ago

Meanwhile, Sun Yang is free to swim at Worlds….

Reply to  Really
2 years ago

It was his mother’s hammer

South of the Border
2 years ago

I’m trying to figure out why “my brother’s towel had steroids on it” gets twice as long as “my mom’s friend left unmarked steroids in an Aleve bottle.”

At most, Santos’ excuse was 50% worse than Willenbring’s. I don’t think there’s a 2x multiplier in there.

Reply to  South of the Border
2 years ago

The higher profile the athlete, the greater the punishment. Unless your name is Sun Yang.

Reply to  RUN-DMC
2 years ago

Or Carl Lewis..

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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