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2016 Olympic pole vault champion Thiago Braz banned for doping: AIU

Brazil's 2016 Olympic pole vault champion Thiago Braz received a 16 month doping ban (ANDREJ ISAKOVIC)
Brazil's 2016 Olympic pole vault champion Thiago Braz received a 16 month doping ban (ANDREJ ISAKOVIC)

Brazil's 2016 Olympic champion Thiago Braz will not be able to attempt to regain his title in Paris this year having been banned for 16 months for doping on Tuesday by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

"The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has banned Rio 2016 Olympic champion Thiago Braz for 16 months for the presence of ostarine glucuronide," read an AIU statement.

The 30-year-old had protested his innocence saying he had consumed it "through sports supplements containing the banned substance."

Braz -- who took bronze in the Covid-delayed Tokyo Games three years ago -- has got off lightly as the AIU had sought a four-year ban "contending in particular that he was 'reckless' and acted with 'indirect intent'."

They said they will consider appealing the ban.

"Athletes from Brazil, including Mr Braz, have been specifically educated about the dangers surrounding the use of supplements from compound pharmacies in Brazil," said AIU Head Brett Clothier.

"This has occurred via AIU online forums and AIU athlete advisory notices. In the light of these very clear warnings, it is disappointing to be dealing with such a case."

The Disciplinary Tribunal ruled that, while Braz had been "personally informed" about the high risk of contamination involved in using the supplements and had consequently "ignored this risk", he was not deemed to have manifestly disregarded the risk because he had relied on his medical team for advice.

A majority of the panel determined he was not at "significant fault or negligence".

Braz, who was provisionally suspended by the AIU on 28 July, 2023 after returning a positive result following an in-competition test at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm on 2 July, will be barred from competing until 27 November, 2024.

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