An update to the drama that is Brazilian men's beach volleyball: Pedro Salgado is free to play again.
In an email sent to UniversalSports.com, FIVB press director Richard Baker said, "Due to a delay in the testing process, which is no fault of the athlete, the temporary suspension has been lifted. The case of Mr. Solberg Salgado is still ongoing but the FIVB will only publish a ruling and further news on the case once the FIVB Anti-Doping Panel has taken into consideration all information and makes a decision (which could be in September now)."
So that doesn't mean he's been cleared; he's just clear to play until the FIVB completes its investigation. Pedro, of course, insists he's innocent, but both his A and B samples reportedly came back positive for the exogenous steroid androstane. Yet, there may be issues with the testing process.
According to sportv.globo.com, "Despite the (second) positive, (Pedro) learned a few hours later, the International Volleyball Federation had dropped the suspension until the trial date, based on the possibility that there had been irregularities in the conduct of their examination."
So, needless to say, much more to come on that investigation. Meantime, when will Pedro return? And with whom will he resume play? The Brazilian website reports that he won't be ready for next week's FIVB World Tour stop in Aland, Finland, but he'll take the sand in The Hague, Netherlands, the following week with Rhooney Ferramenta.
Pedro and Rhooney teamed up just prior to Worlds in June, and played two more events after a fifth-place in Rome before Pedro was suspended. They became partners in the first place because Pedro's original teammate, Pedro Cunha, injured his thigh and couldn't play in Rome, but Salgado/Rhooney weren't going to play together much longer anyway because Salgado announced he would soon join Ricardo Santos.
That, of course, never came to be because of the suspension, so Ricardo grabbed Cunha once he returned to health. Ricardo and Cunha just won the Klagenfurt Grand Slam, and now will apparently finish out the summer together. Salgado will finish the season with Rhooney.
Next year leading up to the Olympics, though, it all remains to be seen. If Salgado is ultimately cleared, will Ricardo want to take him to London? Or will he want the other Pedro? Or will the Brazilian federation step in and choose for him?
Ah, the drama.