Remember that report earlier in the week? The one stating three-time Olympic medalist Ricardo Santos was parting ways with current partner Marcio Araujo to pursue Olympic glory in London alongside 25-year-old Pedro Salgado? Well, scratch it. At least for now.
According to sportv.globo.com in Brazil, Salgado won’t be pursuing anything, let alone the Olympics, any time soon. He has tested positive for the "exogenous steroid androstane," and has been suspended indefinitely by the FIVB.
"The Brazilian Volleyball Confederation (CBV) confirmed on Wednesday it received a statement from the International Federation (FIVB), which temporarily suspended the athlete [Pedro Salgado]," reads the report. "The substance found is the exogenous steroid androstane, which can be used to gain muscle mass, depending on the amount in the body. The examination was done by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), in Rio de Janeiro, on May 30, and the athlete denies having consumed any prohibited substance."
Key ingredient to the report: Salgado denying all allegations he ever used performance enhancing drugs. Something he continues to vehemently state in another sportv.globo.com story.
"I'm looking for two days [through] all the medicines, supplements and creams that I used and [have] not come to any conclusion" Salgado told the Brazilian news agency. "All I tried is the norm, nothing is illegal. Really for me is a great mystery. It is a case of Sherlock Holmes. In China there was a case of 30 athletes who [failed] doping due to an anabolic [in the] meat. But all were for a substance that is not mine. I have no idea. I'm researching something that may be hormonal. At first my doctors thought it might be, but then changed their minds."
Also in the original report: "The anabolic steroid found was 5a-androstane-3a, 127bdiol, S1b category, with concentration of 104.27 mg / ml. When you have an exogenous origin, it has been consumed in some way by the player -- unlike the endogenous, which is produced by the body. The androstane is generally considered indigenous, but in cases of doping, is done by a new examination in the laboratory to verify that the substance was produced or consumed, as claimed by the FIVB."
So what now? The inevitable legal battle commences, starting with a "fair hearing" and full board appeals process. FIVB rules state that a first violation of the doping policy comes with "Two (2) years [of] Ineligibility." That's something not many athletes are able to return from, especially without the support of their national federation, which they disgraced publicly, and now holds the ticket to the Olympics.
As for Ricardo's new partner, he's signed up to play the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam (July 28-31) with Salgado's former partner, Pedro Cunha, who's back from injury. Why wouldn't Ricardo just stay with Marcio, his partner up to this point? The same guy who helped capture Stavanger Grand Slam gold and World Championships silver within the last month?
"It just does not feel good," Ricardo said in an FIVB release. "Now is the right moment to change, so we will have enough time to prepare for the Olympics in London next year. In Brazil there are three good defenders that are available for me to play with at the moment: Marcio, Harley (Marques) and Cunha. I evaluated the past 1.5 years and talked to the technical coaches at the Brazilian team. And they think that the combination with Cunha will work better."
Through Friday, third-seeded Ricardo and Marcio were 3-0 in pool play at the Moscow Grand Slam, which will be their last event together.