Sebastián Rodríguez, 16-time Paralympic medalist, admits an anti-doping violation and announces his retirement


The Spanish swimmer Sebastián Rodríguez, winner of 16 medals in the Paralympic Games, confirmed this Thursday that the Spanish Commission for the Fight against Doping in Sports (CELAD) has informed him that he has tested “positive” in an anti-doping control, an infraction that he has “admitted.” “although it was due to his “mistake” of unknowingly consuming a product that contained a prohibited substance and which led him to end his professional sports career.

“I was recently notified by CELAD of the existence of an adverse or positive result in the sample collected in a doping control. It was an out-of-competition test that was carried out on July 12, 2023 during a concentration with the national team. in Sierra Nevada,” said Sebastián Rodríguez in a statement.

The Galician pointed out that, “from the first moment”, he admitted this infraction to the agency and that he decided “not to present appeals that could lengthen the procedure.” “Moreover, since I received the notification, even before the possible sanction became effective, I made the decision to stop competing and renounce the selection processes for the internal tests,” he noted.

“I made the mistake and mistake of having consumed supplements that contained such prohibited substances as a result of my inexcusable ignorance. Every athlete is responsible for knowing and verifying that the products they consume or ingest do not contain prohibited substances,” Rodríguez added.

The multiple Paralympic medalist explained that in his case it was “medication provided in absolute good faith by a well-known professional” who has collaborated with him “for years.” “Neither he nor I had ever had any kind of problem before. Of course, neither of us thought that said substance could be considered prohibited,” he said.

“In my entire sporting career, 29 years and 6 Paralympic Games, I have never before resorted to the use of substances or doping methods prohibited in sport. This is proven by the results of the many anti-doping controls that I have undergone inside and outside Therefore, my priority now is not to doubt the merits and sporting achievements previously achieved on my part, which I have obtained without having to resort to doping,” he remarked.

The 67-year-old swimmer regretted “the damage that this unfortunate incident” in his sporting career “could cause to Spanish Paralympic sport.” “What happened should not serve to question the image and reputation of the Spanish Paralympic athletes, to whom I apologize, as well as to the Spanish Paralympic Committee and its sponsors and collaborators,” he stressed.

“My negligence must serve athletes to learn to control everything they consume or ingest, verifying that compliance with anti-doping rules is not compromised. Finally, I announce that I have decided to definitively abandon the practice of competitive sport.” ‘Chano’ Rodríguez said.


For its part, the Spanish Paralympic Committee (CPE) expressed in a statement “its firmest rejection” of what happened to the Galician swimmer and made it clear that it “shares the forceful action” that may exist at the disciplinary level.

“The CPE expresses its firmest rejection of the actions of the swimmer Sebastián Rodríguez, who has admitted committing a violation of doping rules, having tested positive in an out-of-competition anti-doping control, during 2023, as a consequence of having ingested due to ignorance of a supplementation that contained prohibited substances,” the organization highlighted.

The Committee also expressed “its utmost rejection of any violation of doping rules” and that it “defends and shares forceful action against offenders, always in accordance with current regulations on the matter.”

“The CPE has always had and will have a policy of zero tolerance with doping in sport and, in this sense, will continue to work actively in the fight against this scourge, in collaboration with the national and international organizations competent in this matter, all with the ultimate objective of guaranteeing a clean sport in accordance with Paralympic values,” stated the physically disabled swimmer.

Sebastián Rodríguez has participated in six Paralympic Games (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020), in which he won a total of 16 Paralympic medals, half of them gold, in addition to four silver and many other bronzes.