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Thiago Braz, Rio Olympic pole vault gold medalist, suspended through Paris Games

Diamond League And Kamila Skolimowska Memorial

CHORZOW, POLAND - JULY 16, 2023: Thiago Braz of Brasil, watches Men’s Pole Vault competition, during the SILESIA Kamila Skolimowska Memorial 2023, part of the 2023 Diamond League series, on July 16, 2023, at Slaski Stadium in Chorzow. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Thiago Braz, the Rio Olympic pole vault champion from Brazil, has been suspended through the Paris Games after testing positive for a banned substance last July.

Braz, 30, had been provisionally suspended last July for the presence or use of ostarine glucuronide, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which handles doping cases in track and field.

On Tuesday, the AIU announced that a disciplinary tribunal set Braz’s suspension at 16 months, backdated to the start of his provisional ban. He can return to competition this Nov. 27.

Braz has appealed the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, according to the AIU.

The AIU said that Braz “argued he did not knowingly use ostarine as he had been given the supplements – containing the banned substance – by his sports nutritionist with the objective of improving his health. The athlete further contended that he had been assured by the nutritionist that the relevant research of the pharmacies involved had been undertaken and had also been assured that ‘none of the supplements that were being provided to him contained any substances banned by WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency).’”

The AIU sought a four-year ban and will consider appealing the 16-month ban that was given by the tribunal.

The majority of the tribunal panel found that Braz “acted with no significant fault” and with a “normal” level of negligence.

Braz “should have been more cautious in his trust of his medical team, should have requested more specific information and documents, and should have made reasonable searches himself,” according to the decision.

The AIU contended that Braz was “reckless and acted with indirect intent.”

“He was aware of the risk involved of using supplements sourced from compound pharmacies in Brazil and had ‘manifestly disregarded that risk,’” the AIU said in a press release.

Ostarine glucuronide is listed by the WADA as a banned anabolic agent. Ostarine is used to enhance muscle growth and athletic performance.

In 2016, Braz won Brazil’s lone track and field medal of the Rio Games, upsetting then-world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France by clearing a personal-best and Olympic record 6.03 meters.

Braz took bronze at the Tokyo Games and fourth at the 2022 World Championships.

Braz ranked outside the world top 30 in the pole vault for 2023 by best clearance.