RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s Olympic Committee said Friday that heavyweight weightlifter Fernando Reis has been suspended for doping and will not compete at the Tokyo Olympics. He was one of the favorites for a medal in the 105-kilogram category.
The committee said in a statement that 31-year-old Reis did not travel as expected last week after testing positive for a growth hormone.
“The athlete is excluded of the delegation that will compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games,” the Brazilian committee said. “We reinforce our commitment with clean sports as we keep several educational initiatives to fight against doping.”
Brazil’s weightlifting confederation said in a separate statement that Reis was scheduled to travel next week, shortly before the July 23 opening ceremony of the Olympics.
Reis’ positive result came from an out-of-competition test on June 11, the confederation added. The Brazilian competed in the two previous Olympics and finished 11th in London 2012 and fifth in Rio de Janeiro 2016.
Reis became the first Brazilian to win a medal at a major weightlifting championship, but his bronze only came in 2020, two years after the world championships. Uzbek Rustam Djangabaev was disqualified after being accused of sample-swapping. He was later banned for four years.
Reis won gold in the last three Pan-American Games.
Attorney Marcelo Franklin said “Reis is one of the most tested athletes in the world” and did not use any forbidden substance.
“We will not speak about this case until the end of the trial so his image is preserved. We will take urgent measures,” Franklin told website Globo Esporte after his client’s ban was announced.
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