Brazil’s Rafaela Silva, a judo gold medalist in the 2016 Olympics, is one of three athletes or teams to be stripped of her medal in this summer’s Pan Am Games after a positive drug test, the organizing body announced Wednesday.
Silva’s story of emerging from a violent Rio de Janeiro neighborhood to win gold in her home city made her a celebrity in Brazil and elsewhere. She won the Association of National Olympic Committees Award for Most Inspirational Performance and had a prominent role in bringing the Paralympic torch to Rio.
After winning gold at the Pan Am Games, Silva took bronze at the world championships last month.
Silva addressed her positive test last week, saying the result may have come about through her contact with a baby who uses asthma medication.
The other medal-winners flagged on doping tests are Puerto Rico’s Jean Francisco Perez Faure, a bowler who won gold in men’s doubles bowling, and Brazil’s Kacio Fonseca da Silva, who had taken bronze in the track cycling men’s team sprint.
Perez’s offense had been previously announced. The American duo of Jakob Butturff and Nick Pate was elevated to gold.
Panam Sports reported 15 Adverse Analytical Findings from more than 2,000 tests tied to the competition in Lima, Peru. Eight cases with unidentified athletes are continuing, some awaiting hearings and some awaiting test results from their B samples.
One of the seven athletes named in Wednesday’s release has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but Panam Sports did not give the athlete’s name, and CAS has not listed a related hearing on its site.
Two players from the Dominican Republic’s baseball team were on the list of positive tests, but the team’s results were not removed because the Pan Am Games’ rules specify that a team will not lose its place unless more than two athletes are sanctioned. The Dominican Republic did not medal.
The other athletes listed, a men’s handball player from Peru and a women’s basketball player from Colombia, also didn’t affect the final results.
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