Brazilian swimming star Cesar Cielo escaped a drugs ban yesterday after a high-profile case that left him clear to defend his 50m and 100m titles and lifted a doping cloud from the world championships.
The Olympic champion was let off with a warning after testing positive for a banned diuretic, despite calls for a three-month suspension which would have sent him home from Shanghai and interrupted his buildup to London 2012.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed appeals by world body FINA to ban Cielo and teammates Nicholas dos Santos and Henrique Barbosa, who also failed a test for furosemide in May.
However, CAS, which held a six-hour special tribunal in Shanghai on Wednesday, slapped a one-year ban on another Brazilian, Vinicius Waked, because it was his second drugs violation.
Attention will now swing back to the action at the Oriental Sports Center, where hosts China took a giant stride toward a historic sweep of all 10 diving medals.
Chen Ruolin and Hu Yatan led a one-two in the women’s 10m platform event, relegating Mexico’s defending champion Paola Espinosa to bronze and handing China seven titles out of seven.
Then, six days after the competition started, the US finally bagged their first medal of the championships with victory in the 5km team swim, an event not raced at the worlds since 1998.
Andrew Gemmell, Sean Ryan and Ashley Twichell completed the Jinshan City Beach course in 57 minutes, 0.6 seconds, more than a second ahead of the Australian team, with Germany taking bronze.
The win places the US equal fourth on the medals table alongside Britain and behind hosts China, Russia and Greece. Most of the 15 golds handed out so far have been for diving and synchronized swimming, but the US will be expected to dominate the second week of competition when their swimming stars, led by 14-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps, take to the Sea Crown indoor pool.
Meanwhile Russia claimed gold in the synchronized swimming free combination, extending their dominance of the event. China were second and Canada placed third.