Rafaela Silva says she intends to fight her doping case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Rio 2016 Olympic champion tested positive for banned substance fenoterol during the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
The 27-year-old was stripped of her gold medal but claimed her innocence during a press conference in September.
According to a statement issued by the Brazilian Judo Confederation (CBJ), Rafaela Silva hired lawyer Marcelo Franklin to appeal the decision from the International Judo Federation (IJF).
With the legal process underway, neither Silva or the IJF are commenting on the decision.
“I’m fully confident that I will prove that the substance fenoterol accidentally entered my body and that it was not used for sports performance purposes.
“We will fight to the end for the dream of representing my country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games because I know that I have done nothing wrong and that in the end justice will prevail.”
In the same note, the CBJ confirmed they will support the athlete, calling her “an example on and off the mat and one of the greatest idols of Brazilian sport.”
Fenoterol is used to treat asthma and Silva claimed she had a clean drug test at the World Championships in Tokyo at the end of August 2019 – three weeks after the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
She won gold in Peru and bronze in Tokyo, but the judoka hasn’t competed since October.