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

Just thinking about Lochte getting an 18 month suspenson because of an instragram picture… Ryan should have been defended by the brazilian lawyer.

Brazilians always have an excuse. Always get away. This excuse mind blowing. This a disgrace…

I’m not american. I believe that every athlete of any nationatility if found guilty should be suspended. I cannot believe they accepted this excuse. I cannot believe Lochte got 18 months, and this kid got 8 months. Fina at this point is a joke…

Tea rex
2 years ago

While suspended, do swimmers continue to get drug tested?

2 years ago

it just makes me nauseous, as a swimmer ,to hear doping incidents every once in a while from cheaters where I actually grind everyday to get better and play clean. Pity for all these people

2 years ago

Brazil unfortunately has a disturbing history of swimmers using Performance Enhancing Drug abuse. FINA and WADA need to stop this before the sport loses credibility like the Tour de France. A zero tolerance policy would be very effective. A dozen swimmers at the World Championships wouldn’t be there and their medals would be won by the clean athletes. I’m beginning to think Cornel Marculescu, the Executive Director of FINA is the problem. This guy is scared of confrontation and seems terrified to sanction swimmers if they come from a prominent country. We need more athletes on the governing boards

Gabriel Santos
Cesar Cielo
Henrique Rodrigues
Henrique Barbosa
Nicholas Santos
Vinicius Waked
Etiene Medeiros
Glauber Silva
Diego Prado
Leonardo Sumida

Reply to  Scribble
2 years ago

1) Cornel rarely, if ever, has any input on athlete sanctionings. That’s done by the independent FINA doping panels, CAS, national federations, etc.
2) I keep hearing “we want more athletes like Janet Evans and fewer non-athletes like Cornel Marculescu running the sport,” but almost everyone on these boards as far as I can tell were elite athletes. There seems to be a very gray area of which athletes we consider worthy of ‘carrying the flag for athletes’ and which we don’t. Cornel, for example, was a 1964 Olympian in water polo. So, if we’re going to say “more athletes,” we need to figure out how to better define that. Current athletes? Olympians within the last 10 years? What… Read more »

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

I would recommend an athlete within 10-years of competition or Shirley Babashoff. Technology, such as supersuits and drug testing, is changing fast. A zero tolerance policy would fix the PED issue fast. The difficulty seems to a lack of backbone enforcing rules. The fact that Russia was even allowed to compete in Rio after the McLaren Report is insane. Its hard to take some of these governing boards seriously after that fiasco. Marlescu seems to have a history of wilting in difficult situations.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Cornel is busy counting the money.

Ice Age Swimmer
2 years ago

Good news for Dressel and Andrew. They should never have had to compete against drug cheats in the first place. I agree with another commenter that that is makes Lochte’s ban for using saline solution seem unjustly harsh. A dopey mistake, but not a PED.

Reply to  Ice Age Swimmer
2 years ago

I think you’re thinking of Nicolas santos the 50 flyer….

Reply to  Yabo
2 years ago

Yea.. I was like.. what the f*** is he talking about??

Reply to  Ice Age Swimmer
2 years ago

An ignorant drive-by sound byte. An opportunistic attempt to vent prejudice.

2 years ago

So did he take Clobetasol or Clostebol? They are different

2 years ago

Gotta love it when Lochte gets a longer ban for with an actual excuse

Reply to  Ryan
2 years ago

And the substance he took wasn’t even illegal

Reply to  Ryan
2 years ago

Well…Lochte’s excuse was “I didn’t know the rules.” Which, generally, in most courts, is viewed as a weaker excuse – especially for a super-elite swimmer who should have people making sure he knows/follows the rules.

Michael Schwartz
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

This I would agree with, but I would qualify (in my own opinion at least) that there should also be a hierarchy of infractions to take into consideration and when one violation is for a banned steroid and the other is a legal substance, but taken in a way that violates the rules (unless you have an exemption), that the banned substance would hold a heavier sentence than the legal one taken in a method against regulations. But I’m also not judge and or jury here so who cares what I think…what do you think? (spoken in Mel’s voice)

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

But it didn’t go to court. It went to a tribunal that presumably uses common sense.

2 years ago

Never thought I’d have to add ‘doping ban’ to the list of things you can catch from another persons towel. Learn something new everyday.

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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