By Agence France-Presse
Brazil’s Olympic judo champion Rafaela Silva was stripped of her Pan American Games gold medal on Wednesday after failing a drugs test, officials said.
She tested positive for the banned substance fenoterol, which is used to treat asthma.
However, the 27-year-old has already insisted she is innocent.
“I am clean and I will continue to train and fight to prove my innocence,” Silva told a news conference last Friday.
“I tested positive for fenoterol … but I did not use this substance, I am not asthmatic.”
Fenoterol is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances.
Silva, who won Brazil’s first gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, tested positive on August 9 during the Pan American Games in Lima where she won the 57-kilogram category.
She went on to win bronze at the World Judo Championships in Tokyo, where she hopes to defend her Olympic title next year.
A second test on August 29 did not show the presence of fenoterol, said Silva, who suggested she may have been exposed to the substance by a friend’s baby.
Her Pan American gold has now been awarded to Ana Rosa of Dominica.
Panam Sports, the organizing body of the Games, said Wednesday that six other athletes had also tested positive at the tournament.