Athletics-Olympic pole vault champion Braz gets 16-month ban for doping

By Thomson Reuters May 28, 2024 | 8:06 PM

(Reuters) -Brazilian former Olympic pole vault champion Thiago Braz has been banned for 16 months after he was found to have violated anti-doping regulations, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old, who won Olympic gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016, setting the Olympic record at 6.03 metres, and took bronze in Tokyo in 2021, will miss this year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

Braz has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

He was deemed to have breached the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (ADR 2.1) relating to “Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample”.

The ban comes after he tested positive last July for the banned substance ostarine glucuronide, which the athlete said he consumed through sports supplements. Ostarine is used to enhance muscle growth and athletic performance.

Braz was provisionally suspended in July after a positive result following a test at the Bauhaus Galen Diamond League meeting in Stockholm on 2 July, and that suspension period is credited towards the ban.

The Brazilian is thus barred from competing until Nov. 27 this year.

The AIU are considering an appeal after they had sought a four-year ban for Braz.

The Disciplinary Tribunal ruled that Braz had not manifestly disregarded the risk, which he had been informed of, because he relied on his medical team for advice.

Braz argued that he did not knowingly use the substance as he had been given supplements containing ostarine by his sports nutritionalist to improve his health and had been assured that none of the supplements contained banned substances.

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes; Editing by Hugh Lawson)