Deco says he may sue WADA and Brazilian lab after wrongful doping conviction

Tales Azzoni / The Associated Press
May 29, 2014 12:44 PM

SAO PAULO - Former Portugal international Deco said Thursday he may file a lawsuit against WADA and the Brazilian laboratory that said he tested positive for doping last year.

Deco, who retired from the game last August, was cleared of doping by the Court of Arbitration for Sport this week and his one-year ban imposed last September was annulled by FIFA and the Brazilian football federation.

The doping tests that led to his conviction were conducted by Rio de Janeiro laboratory Ladetec, which lost its accreditation by the World Anti-Doping Agency and has since been suspended from World Cup testing.

"If there was a mistake, both WADA and Ladetec are responsible for it," the Brazilian-born player said in a statement on Thursday, noting that the laboratory was still accredited by the anti-doping agency when he was tested.

Deco said the doping conviction "may have helped anticipate" the end of his career. He was initially suspended one month by Brazil's sports tribunal in early 2013, but in a second trial last September, after he had retired, the player was banned for a year.

"I lost contracts, I lost a lot of things. This can't happen because of a mistake," Deco said. "I was significantly affected by this. I will talk to my lawyers and we will decide what we will do."

The 36-year-old Deco allegedly tested positive for two banned substances after playing in a Rio state championship match for Fluminense. His samples were re-tested in Switzerland and CAS said in its ruling on Tuesday that "it could not be established" that the player committed any anti-doping rule violation.

"It just proved what I already knew," Deco said. "I knew exactly what I did my entire career. I never used anything that was prohibited. I knew that it was either a mistake by the pharmacy that produced the vitamins that I took or a mistake in the analysis of the urine."

The lab said that Deco's samples contained hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic which can mask the presence of other drugs, and tamoxifen, which can help players cope with the side effects of using steroids.

Because of the problems with Ladetec, FIFA will have to fly doping samples to Switzerland for testing during next month's World Cup.

The lab's role for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro remains uncertain. It was previously cited for reporting a false positive for a volleyball player.

Deco played for Portugal at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and for European clubs sides Barcelona, Chelsea and Porto.

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Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni


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