Rio 2016 Olympic champion Braz given 16-month doping ban

Thiago Braz after winning silver at the 2022 World Indoor Championships in Belgrade
Braz won silver at the 2022 World Indoor Championships in Belgrade [Getty Images]

Brazilian pole vaulter Thaigo Braz has been banned for 16 months by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for committing a doping offence.

Braz, the 2016 Rio Olympics champion, is deemed to have breached World Athletics Anti-Doping rules relating to the presence of the prohibited substance, ostarine.

Ostarine has similar effects to testosterone and is not approved for human consumption in any country.

Braz, who was provisionally suspended last July, said he unknowingly consumed the substance through sports supplements given to him by his nutritionist and will lodge an appeal against the ban with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The 30-year-old won bronze at Tokyo 2020 but will now miss the Paris Olympics this summer.

The AIU had originally sought a four-year sanction for Braz, adding he was “reckless” and acted with “indirect intent”.

But the disciplinary tribunal ruled that although Braz knew about the the risk of contamination in using the supplements, he was not at "significant fault or negligence” because he relied on advice from his medical team.

The AIU may still appeal the length of the ban.

“Athletes from Brazil, including Mr Braz, have been specifically educated about the dangers surrounding the use of supplements from compound pharmacies in Brazil," said AIU Head Brett Clothier.

“In the light of these very clear warnings, it is disappointing to be dealing with such a case.”