CAS Finds Brazil’s Gabriel Santos Without Fault, Revokes 1-Year Suspension

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has lifted Brazilian Olympian sprinter Gabriel Santo’s one-year suspension, the organization announced Friday.

Santos initially received an initial suspension in July after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Clostebol, getting eight months retroactive to May 20. That would have made him eligible to compete again in January 2020. Then, his suspension was extended to a full year, until May 2020, which would have rendered him ineligible to compete at the Maria Lenk Trophy and thus lose his chance to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Santos appealed to CAS, requesting that either no period of ineligibility be imposed on him, or, that the minimum available sanction be applied to him.

While CAS did find him to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV), the arbiters ruled that he bears no fault or negligence for the matter, and revoked his period of ineligibility. CAS noted that the FINA Doping Panel concluded in its original decisions that the source of the prohibited substance was “cross-contamination through the sharing of bathroom towels and products with a family member who had been using Clostebol under medical prescription.”

“It was accepted by the parties that the presence of Clostebol in Gabriel Da Silva Santos’s sample was non-intentional and arose from cross-contamination,” CAS announced in its decision. “The CAS Panel unanimously found that in the circumstances of this case, no fault or negligence should be attributed to the athlete for the ADRV. In view of this finding, the Panel applied Article 10.4 of the FINA Doping Control Rules, which sets out that where a finding of No Fault or Negligence is made, any otherwise applicable period of ineligibility shall be eliminated entirely. Accordingly, the one-year period of ineligibility imposed by the FINA Doping Panel on Gabriel Da Silva Santos has been eliminated and is no longer in force.”

Santos was originally named to the Brazilian team for the 2019 FINA World Championships. At the 2017 Championships in Budapest, he placed 14th in the 100 freestyle and went 48.30 leading off Brazil’s silver medal-winning 400 free relay. His lifetime best of 47.98 came in 2018 at Brazil Trials, and he won a gold medal that year in the 400 free relay at the Pan Pacific Championships.

At the 2019 Brazil Trophy, he went 48.45 in the 100 free, which ranked him 22nd in the world prior to his suspension.

Santos was originally slated to compete in the International Swimming League for the DC Trident, but was suspended per the league’s zero-tolerance policy for swimmers who have served doping suspensions. Under that policy, it’s expected that he would no be deemed eligible to once again compete in the ISL.

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1 year ago

This has to be a joke

1 year ago

Torrey, Gabriel PB is 47,98 from 2018 Brazilian Trials..

1 year ago

So, the trick is to ingest or absorb PED’s in a way that is “not your fault.” A brother’s towel, an aunt’s aspirin bottle…perhaps petting a dog that has been treated with a topical steroid would be a valid excuse as well. This is going to get interesting.

Perhaps athletes will be excused from positive tests if they insist that they identify as clean athletes.

Reply to  Ferb
1 year ago

Don´t you dare include cute dogs inside this situation!

Reply to  Ferb
1 year ago

or …”adjacent to a way that is “not your fault”. hahaha for the dog example…will we see a muscled up bunny or pet rat?

Seriously, I don’t quite get how sharing a towel could contaminate his blood or urine sample though….

Reply to  spectatorn
1 year ago

There is only one way to find out: TESTS!
But there is one thing we (almost never) know about it: the amount of substance found in the athlete body.
Cross-contamination usually means TINY fractions of some substance.

Reply to  spectatorn
1 year ago

The Clostebol was absorbed through his skin.

Reply to  Ferb
1 year ago

The trick is to have a family member fall on their sword for you.

1 year ago


On the bright side at least I know I still live in reality since bureaucratic institutions are still managing manage to screw up everything as per usual.

1 year ago

What’s the deal with training during these bans? There have been a few examples of them being revoked recently which is all fine (provided the athlete really is innocent) but if you aren’t allowed to train during the portion of the ban you’ve served, the damage has probably been done, right?

1 year ago

I smell politics.

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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