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SHANGHAI, China, July 25. BRAZIL's Cesar Cielo, who entered the 2011 FINA World Long Course Championships on the heels of a positive doping test controversy, shrugged off the stress en route to a victory in the men's 50 fly.
Cielo, and three other Brazilian swimmers, tested positive for furosemide at the Maria Lenk Trophy meet earlier this year. Cielo successfully contested that the tests came from a contaminated supplement, and was let off with a warning.
Tonight, Cielo clocked a 23.10 for the gold medal. The win is his third world title after sweeping the 50 and 100 frees in 2009. Cielo was literally sobbing in the pool after his victory, while Kenya's Jason Dunford could be seen getting out of the pool and giving two thumbs down to the crowd after Cielo's win.
A large portion of the swimming community was outraged after Cielo escaped his positive doping test with only a warning, even though the Court of Arbitration for Sport was merely adjudicating what is within the anti-doping codes which allow for a warning in such a case.
"I am very happy, very relieved," Cielo said immediately after his win. "I'm really happy to come here. I'll go to celebrate tonight."
Australia's Matt Targett grabbed silver with a 23.28 to defend his silver medal, while 32-year-old teammate Geoff Huegill snatched bronze in 23.35. Huegill won the first ever world title in the sprint fly when it first began being offered in 2001 in Fukuoka. He also has a pair of bronze medals in the 100 fly from 1998 and 2001.
"It's been nine years since my last World Championships," Huegill said. "I am very grateful. For me it's a stepping stone because I am looking forward to next year's London Olympics."
France's Fred Bousquet (23.38), France's Florent Manaudou (23.49), Germany's Steffen Deibler (23.55), Kenya's Jason Dunford (23.60) and Ukraine's Andriy Govorov (23.64) also vied for the world title.