Luguelín Santos, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist from the Dominican Republic, has confirmed that he is currently under a “provisional suspension of all competition” and is facing a potential suspension by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for age falsification.
The sprinter, who also clinched the World U20 Championship 400 meters title in 2012, acknowledged allegations of fabricating a passport when he was a minor, as reported by media outlets last week. Santos took to his social media page to express remorse and extend an apology to the Dominican society.
“I was wrong at that time, and that is why I apologize to all Dominican society, but with equal pride, I will continue to defend the best interests of our athletes and our country,” stated Santos, according to Infobae.
Acknowledging his regrettable actions from the past, Santos clarified the circumstances surrounding his decision, citing his young age, limited resources, and lack of education while growing up in Bayaguana. He claimed to have simply followed the guidance of those who directed his career back then.
“I greatly regret what happened at that time, and without intending to evade responsibilities. I want to explain that in those years, I was a young man under 18 years of age, with few resources, and little education, from Bayaguana, who simply followed the guidelines of those who… directed me in my sports career back then.”
Presently, Santos, who was part of the Dominican Republic 4×400 Metres Relay Mixed team that won an Olympic silver medal in Tokyo in 2021, is subjected to a provisional suspension from all competitions, which he is adhering to.
He awaits the final verdict and sanction from the Athletics Integrity Unit, which he assures to fully respect.
He added: “At the moment, I have a provisional suspension of all competition, which we have been complying with, and we are waiting for the final sanction from said Integrity Unit, which we will fully respect.”
If proven guilty, Santos faces the risk of losing his gold medal from the 2012 World Junior Championships, in addition to a suspension that could last anywhere from two to four years.
Recognizing the significance of his situation, he emphasized that this unfortunate example should serve as a valuable lesson for all athletes.
“This bad example will serve as learning for all the athletes,” he added.
After winning a silver medal at the Olympics in 2012, Santos went on to secure a bronze medal in the 400m World Championships in 2013. The 30-year-old finished 4th at World Championships in 2015, the same year he won the Pan American Games and World University Games gold medals.