Rafaela Silva claims to be innocent after it was announced on Friday that she had taken a positive doping test. The Brazilian is reigning Olympic champion in the class up to 57 kilos.
The 27-year Silva was tested positive for the drug phenoterol, an asthma medication. She ran into the lamp in August, at the Pan American Games.
"I am pure and I will fight to prove my innocence," Silva said at a press conference. "I do not use fenoterol, I am not an asthma patient."
Silva suspects that the substance has entered her body after contact with a seven-month-old baby from a colleague of judoka. "The daughter of Flavia Rodrigues has asthma and gets medication for that. I last saw the baby on August 4, five days before the positive test."
Not yet suspended pending judgment
Silva has not been suspended for the time being, pending the decision. She hopes to defend her Olympic title in Tokyo next summer.
The Brazilian grew up in a favela in Rio de Janeiro and is seen in her country as an example for poor inhabitants of problem neighborhoods.
In 2013 she became world champion in the class up to 57 kilos, this year she won bronze in the class in which Sanne Verhagen competes on behalf of the Netherlands.