Olympic cham­pion Silva loses Pan Am gold for dop­ing

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports - Mauri­cio SAVARESE

SAO PAULO — Olympic judo cham­pion Rafaela Silva of Brazil was stripped of her Pan Amer­i­can Games gold medal on Wed­nes­day af­ter fail­ing a dop­ing test.

Silva was the win­ner of the ti­tle of the 57-kilo­gram cat­e­gory in Lima, the same cat­e­gory in which she tri­umphed at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. She can still ap­peal the de­ci­sion.

Or­ga­niz­ers of the Pan Am Games said in a state­ment that Silva and six other ath­letes had failed their dop­ing tests dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion in Au­gust.

“We have con­cluded the process for seven cases which re­sulted in the ath­letes be­ing dis­qual­i­fied from the Games as well as their medals and per­for­mances for­feited and re­moved,” or­ga­niz­ers said.

“The re­sults man­age­ment process has been lengthy as we have en­sured that the ath­letes’ rights have been fully re­spected, espe­cially in re­la­tion to con­fi­den­tial­ity.”

The 27-year-old Silva an­nounced last week that she tested pos­i­tive for fenoterol, a drug used to treat asthma.

The ju­doka blamed her fre­quent con­tact with a 7-month-old baby that suf­fers from asthma for the dop­ing re­sult.

The Brazil­ian is one of the favourites to win gold in judo at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Do­mini­can base­ball play­ers Audry Joel Perez and Os­valdo Manuel Abreu; Brazil­ian cy­clist Ka­cio Fon­seca da Silva; Pe­ru­vian hand­ball player Brian Ce­sar Pare­des Ver­gara; Puerto Ri­can bowler Jean Fran­cisco Perez Faure; and Colom­bian bas­ket­ball player Nar­lyn Tathi­ana Mos­quera Cor­doba also failed their tests.

Or­ga­niz­ers said the dop­ing pos­i­tives of the Brazil­ian cy­clist and of the Puerto Ri­can bowler also made their teams lose a bronze and a gold medal, re­spec­tively.

The state­ment of Pan Am Games or­ga­niz­ers said hear­ings for five cases have been sched­uled for Oct. 3 and 4, while the re­sults of three cases are yet to be de­ter­mined fol­low­ing analy­ses of B sam­ples.

The or­ga­niz­ers have not clar­i­fied which is the case for the Brazil­ian Olympic cham­pion Silva.

One of the dop­ing cases at the Pan Am Games has al­ready con­cluded, with the ath­lete that failed the test ap­peal­ing to the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport (CAS), or­ga­niz­ers said.

AP FILE PHOTO

Rafaela Silva of Brazil, left, fights for the gold medal against Ana Rosa of Do­mini­can Repub­lic in women’s judo 57 kg at the Pan Amer­i­can Games in Lima, Peru.

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