Four Latin American athletes exit Pan Ams for doping

Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:22pm EDT
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By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - Four Latin American athletes have been kicked out of the Pan American Games for positive doping tests, the international organization which runs the quadrennial multi-sport competition said on Friday.

Mexican weightlifter Cinthya Vanessa Dominguez Lara and baseball players Nelson Gomez (Puerto Rico), Mario Mercedes Castillo (Dominican Republic) and Javier Jesus Ortiz Angulo (Colombia) all failed doping tests, according to the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO).

Three of the athletes tested positive for anabolic steroids while Mercedes Castillo used a banned stimulant.

As of Friday, PASO said 1,154 tests have been processed out of a total of the roughly 1,500 that were conducted, a rate it called similar to what is done at an Olympic Games, and the results were not alarming.

"It is a normal range, but we want to be clear that PASO is still very concerned about these positive results, and that we are taking it very seriously," PASO Vice President Ivar Sisniega told a news conference.

PASO, which represents 41 National Olympic Committees, said any sanctions for the four athletes will be determined by the international federations for their respective sports.

Eduardo De Rose, chairman of PASO's medical commission, said every major multi-sport event has doping violations but admitted it was surprising to see this many cases so early in the July 10-26 Games.

De Rose suggested that WADA's revised anti-doping code, which was implemented at the start of 2015, could explain the rate of positive tests.   Continued...