Brazil’s Superior Court of Sports Justice (STJD) has ruled that Gabriel Santos’ time trial of the 100 freestyle at the Brazilian Olympic Selection Competition can stand, adding Santos to the official Brazilian roster for the 2021 Olympic Games. However, the judges left the door open for potential appeals.
Back in April during the Brazilian Olympic Trials, Andre Luiz Cálvelo was provisionally suspended for a failed doping test that was taken prior to the trials. By that point, Cálvelo had already won the 100m freestyle, booking himself an Olympic berth both individually and as a member of Brazil’s 4x100m freestyle relay. As a result of the failed test, the Brazilian Swimming Federation gave 9th place finisher Gabriel Santos a solo time-trial swim in the event, with the provision that he could earn an Olympic berth if he finished faster than the 5th-place finisher from the original race.
In the time trial, Santos dropped a time of 48.49 to claim both a relay spot and an individual spot, leaving the original 5th-place finisher Felipe Ribeiro (48.87) off of the Olympic roster.
In response to the decision, Ribeiro’s team, Unisanta, filed a protest with the STJD, contesting the legitimacy of the time trial. However, STJD ruled that Unisanta did not have the authority to issue such a protest as the club would not be a legal representative for Ribeiro under an “athletes competition”.
According to the Brazilian website Best Swimming, the court did not actually look into the merits of the case, instead focusing solely on Unisanta’s legitimacy in filing the protest. “In the opinion of the STJD, only the athletes involved could have entered with such type of action and not Unisanta, understanding that The Selective was not a club competition,” the site reports.
According to the court, any athlete may still file an appeal in the case, but it must be done on the athlete’s behalf.