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Olympic judo champion Rafaela Silva tests positive for doping

/ 05:49 PM September 21, 2019

Brasil’s Rafaela Silva (L) and Dominic Republic’s Ana Rosa compete during the Lima 2019 Pan-American Games Judo Women’s -57 kg Bronze Medal contest in Lima on August 9, 2019. (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Olympic judo champion Rafaela Silva of Brazil says she failed a doping test at the recent Pan American Games in Lima.

The 27-year-old Silva told a news conference on Friday that she tested positive for fenoterol, a drug used to treat asthma.

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The judoka insisted she was innocent and blamed the positive test on having had frequent contact with a 7-month-old baby that suffers from asthma.

Silva became the first Brazilian to win gold at her home Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

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She also won the Pan American title in the same 57-kilogram category in August.

Silva’s attorney Bichara Neto said the judoka will not be suspended or lose her Pan American Games title before organizers hear her defense.

The Brazilian is one of the favorites to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

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TAGS: Brazil, Pan American Games, Rafaela Silva, Sports, Taekwondo
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