Braz, Olympic pole vault champion, banned for 16 months over doping violation

MONACO: Thiago Braz, the celebrated Brazilian pole vault champion, has been handed a 16-month ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for violating anti-doping regulations. This decision, announced on Tuesday, comes as a significant blow to Braz’s career, as it rules him out of the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris.

The 30-year-old athlete, who clinched gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 with a record-setting 6.03 meters and secured a bronze medal in Tokyo in 2021, tested positive for ostarine glucuronide in July last year. Ostarine is a substance known for its muscle growth and performance-enhancing properties. Braz contends that the banned substance entered his system through contaminated sports supplements.

In response to the ban, Braz has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), seeking to overturn the decision. The case underscores the ongoing challenges athletes face with anti-doping compliance and the strict scrutiny placed on sports supplements and their contents.

The ban highlights the rigorous enforcement of World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, specifically ADR 2.1, which addresses the presence of prohibited substances in athletes’ samples.

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