By B. Zarzur
The twenty-seven-year-old Brazilian judo 2016 Rio Olympics champion, Rafaella Silva has been tested positive of anti doping and has now lost her gold medal that she had conquered in august during the lima pan Americans. Silva claims that it was all a game between her and a training friend's baby.
Rafaella Silva is a judo athlete, raised in Rio's favelas that has managed to transform her future by winning various championships and medals. She was the first Brazilian women to win a gold medal in the world judo championship and she continued her victory in the 2016 Rio Olympics, conquering gold once again. However, this week, Panam sports has made it public that, during the lima pan Americans (2019) she has been tested positive for the anti doping substance feneterol. This information has been passed on to news agencies such as Globo Esporte by the Federacao Internacional De Judo (IFJ)
Silva claims that the substance entered her system through the contact of her friend’s baby. She explains that she was in frequent contact with her friend’s seven-month baby, who was having a respiratory problem and taking asthmatic medication, which includes feneterol , the substance in which Silva has been tested positive for. During an interview about this scandal on the 20th of September 2019, she stated, "I don’t have asthma or any other respiratory problems, however, I have the habit of playing with the nose of my colleague's (Flavia Rodrigues) child, pretending it's a pacifier or a bottle. What may have happened is due to her sucking my nose, I must have inhaled the substance and send it to my body”
Bichara Neto, (Rafaela's lawyer) is trying his best to avoid her suspension as he has already defended and treated cases similar to the judo's athlete, such as the tennis player Beatriz Haddad Maia and swimmer Gabriel Santos. Silva's case is still being discussed in court; if she is suspended, her pause can be up to two years; excluding her from the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics (July-August).
Among tears, Silva cries out and says that the risk of her not attending the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics is “unfair and unjust towards her”. “People will talk and criticize, say that was fair because it was a positive result in doping, but it is something that I am sure I did not do. Knowing a little child that I love as if it belonged to my family ... I would not have imagined that this could happen to me. For me, knowing that I didn't do something and removing my chance to participate in an Olympics will be very unfair. It's not my decision, it's the authorities. The only thing I can do that I have done is to give my lawyer all the evidence I have and to be able to prove my innocence, which is what everyone is confident, that this can be resolved as soon as possible”
Athletes receiving a positive result in the anti-doping test is becoming more and more frequent. "We have concluded the process for seven cases which resulted in the athletes being disqualified from the Games as well as their medals and performances forfeited and removed," stated the organizers. "The results management process has been long as we have ensured that the athletes' rights have been fully respected, especially in relation to confidentiality." There have also been many other doping /anti doping scandals such as cyclist Floyd Landis and baseball player Manny Ramirez. Rafaela Silva’s case is still being debated in court and the lawyers will come to a decision that she is either innocent or they will implement a two-year suspension, crushing Silva’s dreams.