Luguelín Santos, the Dominican Republic’s renowned sprinter, faces consequences for age manipulation during the 2012 World Junior Championships held in Barcelona. Despite his triumphant victory in the 400m with an erroneous passport, Santos has been dethroned from his title, serving a three-year ban from March 2023 to March 2026.
In that remarkable year, Santos claimed Olympic 400m silver in London, finishing second to Kirani James. However, the rules at the time do not permit disqualification of subsequent results in cases related to age eligibility, thereby allowing him to retain his Olympic medal.
Acknowledging the discrepancy, Santos, now 31, confessed to competing in the 2012 World Juniors under a passport displaying a birthdate of November 12, 1993, while his actual birthdate is November 12, 1992. This inconsistency rendered him ineligible for participation according to the age criteria specified for the event.
View this post on Instagram
Despite the ban imposed, Santos holds an impressive athletic record, boasting a personal best of 44.11 in the 400m. His accolades include securing 400m bronze at the 2013 World Championships and clinching mixed relay silver at the Tokyo Olympics.
Brett Clothier from the Athletics Integrity Unit expressed deep concerns about the prevalence of age manipulation in sports competitions. Clothier condemned the practice, emphasizing its detrimental impact on fair competition and ethical values instilled in young athletes.
The investigation unearthed several instances of age falsification, prompting Clothier to highlight the absence of specific rules in 2012 that allowed the nullification of subsequent results due to age-related discrepancies. Consequently, Santos will retain his Olympic achievement despite the enforced ban and the retraction of his 2012 World Junior title.