As we sit and wait patiently for Wednesday’s hearing, where the CAS will decide on the appeal of FINA vs. CBDA/ and Cielo, Dos Santos, Barbosa and Waked, it has come to light that US Attorney Howard Jacobs will represent Cielo in their appeal. Jacobs is the same attorney who represented Jessica Hardy in her appeal to the CAS, where she successfully reduced her suspension from two years to one.
The CAS has been asked, by FINA, to rule on whether or not the Brazilian Federation’s (CBDA) punishment of just a warning, after Cielo and three of his teammates tested positive for trace levels of furosemide, which is banned because it has the potential to cover-up the presence of steroids in urine tests. The CBDA ruled that there was sufficient evidence to indicate an accidental contamination, though the lab in question has publicly disputed the validity of those claims.
Jacobs is recognized as the top steroids attorney in the United States. If you name the highest-profile doping cases in the United States, odds are that Jacobs has had a hand in most of them. His client list includes 2006 Tour de France Champion Floyd Landis, 5-time Olympic track medalist Marion Jones, and 2009 WNBA MVP Diana Taurasi. In the Taurasi case, he was able to successfully argue to get a WADA lab in Turkey shut down for suspicious testing practices.
In this instance, Cielo has the best defender available. Jacobs has the experience and the knowledge to argue the Brazilian’s case on its best merits. No word yet on whether Jacobs will only be defending Cielo, or if all four athletes have employed his services, though Cielo is easily the wealthiest of the group.