Omar Pinzon, a former Florida All-American and the best swimmer in Colombia, has tested positive for cocaine, according to Alexander Pussielidi of Blog do Coach.
Pinzon is the South American Record holder in the 200 back both in long course (1:56.40) and short course (1:52.34), and was a 12-time All-American for Gregg Troy’s Florida Gators. After completing his collegiate career in 2010, Pinzon headed west to swim with the very international post-grad training group at USC. Dave Salo led him to a semi-final appearance in the 200 backstroke where he was 16th in 1:58.99 – well off of his best time.
The positive test came at the National Games of Colombia, which were held from November 8th-11th in Cali, where Pinzon won the 200 IM, 100 back, and 200 back. If confirmed with a B-sample, it would likely lead to a suspension just three weeks ahead of the Short Course World Championships in Istanbul.
In general, cocaine has not been a big issue in swimming, though it has been in other aquatic sports. The last positive test that FINA lists in its databases for the substance was in 2010, where another Colombian, diver Juan Guillermo Uran, tested positive and received a two-year ban. Before that, Belgian water polo player Kevin Mestdagh also received a two-year suspension in 2009 for a positive cocaine test, and in 2008 a Portuguese water polo player received the same ban for the same positive test.
Both in FINA-sanctioned disciplines, and around other sports, a two-year ban has been set as a strong standard for this particular substance, so if in fact a doping panel does make the suspension official, that would be the expectation here too.