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Brazilian first athlete sent home for doping

Bobsledder Dos Santos replaced by 400-meter relay silver medalist

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CESANA, Italy - A Brazilian bobsledder who tested positive for steroids in a pre-Olympic drug test became the first athlete sent home from the Turin Games for doping.

Armando dos Santos failed the test in early January when a sample showed evidence of the steroid nandrolone, according to a statement posted Monday on the Brazilian Olympic Committee’s Web site.

Dos Santos, a former hammer thrower, will be replaced on the four-man team by Claudinei Quirino — a silver medalist in the 400-meter relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

“It is very unfortunate, because the policy of the Brazilian Olympic Committee is zero tolerance,” said Eric Maleson, founder and president of the Brazilian ice sports federation. “Today he is at the airport and going back to Brazil. He will not participate in the Olympics.”

Maleson said Dos Santos sounded upset when he was told the news.

“He was shocked, surprised and very emotional,” said Maleson, who also competed in bobsled at the 1998 Nagano Games. “I am very disappointed, because I trust the athletes and he knew the rules.

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“We don’t want any athlete in our team who is contaminated.”

Brazil’s squad is the only tropical bobsled team to qualify for Turin. Training for the four-man event starts Feb. 21, with the competition opening three days later.

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