PHOENIX, Arizona, December 20. BRAZIL'S troubles with positive drug tests continued this week with the news that two swimmers were handed suspensions this month.
The Brazilian swimming federation Thursday announced the suspensions of Diego Prado and Leonardo Sumida, who tested positive for two different banned substances and will receive different punishments. Prado was slapped with a two-year ban from the sport after his positive test for stanozol at the Brazil Open in November. Stanozol is listed in the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances under the category of “anabolic androgenic steroids,” which enhance swimming performance through increased muscle mass.
Prado had been on the Brazilian roster for the 2012 FINA Short Course World Championships in the 50 breaststroke. He was removed in mid-November when the results of the drug test were made public, and was replaced by Felipe Lima. His suspension began on December 4.
Sumida tested positive for marijuana at the same meet in November, and his suspension will last just three months, beginning December 14. The Brazilian swimming federation reports that Sumida admitted to using cannabis and said he did not take the drug to enhance swimming performance, hence the reduced suspension per FINA rules. Sumida was a rising star in the backstroke events for Brazil, with no international racing experience yet.
Though Prado and Sumida are relatively unknown names in the Brazilian swimming community, the suspensions continue to put a black eye on the upcoming host of the 2016 Olympics. According to Swimming World South American correspondent Alex Pussieldi, these are the 10th and 11th positive drug tests in Brazilian swimming in two years, including the highly-publicized doping infractions by Cesar Cielo and three other Brazilians in July 2011. A glance at the list of swimmers handed doping suspensions worldwide by FINA in 2011 and 2012 shows that Brazil has the most positive drug tests among all countries in the past two years.