Jacobs: Omar Pinzon Exonerated of Positive Cocaine Test

Jul 30, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Omar Pinzon (COL) swims in a men's 200m butterfly heat during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, April 8. COLOMBIAN Olympic swimmer Omar Pinzon has been exonerated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) following a positive test for the use of cocaine on Nov. 10, 2012, according to Pinzon’s lawyer Howard Jacobs.

Pinzon, who had drawn a two-year ban from the sport following the test that took place at the Colombian National Games in Cali, Colombia, has fought to clear his name ever since. According to Jacobs, Pinzon submitted to a polygraph examination with results stating that he was truthful to have never knowingly used cocaine.

Following his two-year ban from the Colombian Swimming Federation, Pinzon appealed the ruling to CAS, who recently ruled in his favor, stating the following according to Jacobs:

-the CAS tribunal did not believe that Omar Pinzon had ever used cocaine
-the testing laboratory in Colombia had not used the standard test for cocaine, and did not establish that it even followed its own required testing protocols
-there is no known scientific study that would support the test results reported by the testing laboratory in Colombia
-the results reported by the testing laboratory in Colombia are virtually impossible in a human urine sample after the ingestion of cocaine, meaning that the test results are inconsistent with biology; an
-the lab result can only be explained by lab error, manipulation of the sample or adulteration of the sample.

CAS also has been ordered to pay Pinzon more than $50,000 U.S. for the costs of the arbitration and legal fees.

“I am extremely happy with the CAS decision, because it proves what I already knew, which is that I was completely innocent,” Pinzon said in a statement. “The past year has been extremely difficult for me and my family, and I look forward to returning to competition later this month. Despite this ordeal, I look forward to again representing my country in the near future.”

CAS has yet to make its ruling public via its standard, and has yet to respond to a Swimming World request for its official ruling.

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