9th October 2019

Swimmer banned after contact with brother results in Clostebol positive

Brazilian swimmer Gabriel da Silva Santos has been sanctioned with a one year ban, despite an international swimming federation (FINA) panel accepting that his positive test for clostebol was due to contact with his brother, who was using it to treat a skin irritation. Santos presented evidence that he was staying with his brother, Gustavo, at his parents house on 18 and 19 May, and that Gustavo was treated with Novaderm from 24 April to 20 May. On 20 May, Gabriel reported an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for clostebol, which is an ingredient in the Novaderm cream.

His AAF involved 0.17 ng/mL of clostebol present in his urine sample, which was taken outside of competition. The FINA panel heard evidence that this was much less than the 13 ng/mL detected in the sample of Norwegian cross country skier Therese Johaug, who was sanctioned with an 18 month ban for use of a similar cream to treat blistered lips.

Santos was part of the Brazilian 4x100m relay team that won a historic Silver at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships, and also won Gold in the same event at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. He was provisionally suspended by the International Swimming League (ISL) on 26 June, following his AAF. The ISL has adopted a tough anti-doping stance, preventing anyone convicted of a doping offence from competing, whatever the circumstances. Santos will serve a one year ban from 20 July 2019, and all results from the date of his AAF, 20 May, will be annulled until his ban is served.

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