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Understanding the defensive strategy that achieved the stopping effect of Gabigol's return to play with Flamengo |  Flamingo

Understanding the defensive strategy that achieved the stopping effect of Gabigol's return to play with Flamengo | Flamingo

It took 28 days from the submission of the decision on the request for suspensive effect for Gabigol's return to acting Flamingo. Now, the striker is released to play and awaits a merits analysis at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). But what defensive strategy achieved the stopping effect?

Gabigol celebrates his first goal of 2024 for Flamengo – Photograph: Marcelo Cortés/CRF

The complaint was filed at the end of December, but the case continued throughout 2023, immediately after the incident that occurred on April 8 in Ninho do Urubu. In August, there was a prior defense made by Rodrigo Donchi, the club's general and legal vice president. From the first moment, the main argument was that there was no fraud in the exam.

Hey Flamingo We understand that there was an act of indiscipline by Gabigol, but it cannot be classified as an attempt to cheat in an anti-doping test. The close vote (5 x 4) that led to the two-year suspension was one of the arguments used in the suspensive effect application sent to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in early April. (See voting details here)

Striker Gabigol has received a suspension and is free to return to Flamengo

Internally, those involved in the process recognized that there was institutional bias in the trial at the Court for Sport Anti-Doping (TJD-AD), and that the situation at the Court of Arbitration for Sport would be analyzed impartially. Gabigol's defense believes there was a significant delay by the ABCD (Brazilian Doping Control Board) in continuing the case.

Therefore, CAS appointed two of the three arbitrators. The committee consisted of an Englishman nominated by Gabigol's defense, and another Englishman and a Swiss man nominated by the court. All three voted in favor and granted the suspension effect to the attacker.

The defense considered that the fierce trial in the Brazilian court would contribute to the acceptance of the request by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the release of the striker to play. In the argument, attention was drawn to “Ocean in Mora” (risk of delay) along with “Fumus Pony Joris” (Smoke is a good law).

Gabigol – Flamengo vs. Olimpia – Copa South America Libertadores 2023 – Photo: Daniel Castelo Branco/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

There was a call to analyze the process quickly, as any loss of time could lead to Gabigol remaining for a large part or even the entire suspension period imposed on him. Furthermore, the striker's history, without any precedent of doping in his career, was included in the documents.

The unanimous victory was considered an “encouraging start” to be able to overturn the appeal in the final ruling. The result brought greater confidence to the player's defence, which believes that the court would not have granted this decision if it had not seen that there were real chances of success at the end of the process.

– I believe that this decision recognizes that Gabriel's chances of success are reasonable and therefore it would not be fair for him to spend a year without being able to practice his profession while this appeal is being considered or even a year – commented Donche in a statement.

Gabigol was sanctioned on March 25 by TJD-AD for attempted fraud in an anti-doping test conducted on April 8, 2023. The sanction took effect from the date the test was collected in Ninho, even though the player was active. Last year, with a deadline of April 7, 2025. The striker was represented by the office of Bechara e Motta, which included the participation of Rodrigo Donchi as a representative of Flamingo To follow up on the case.

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