After being away from the game for the last eight months due to a doping accusation that was later overturned by the FIVB, volleyball legend, 2010 World Championship and 2012 Olympic Games MVP Murilo Endres finally made his season debut for Sesi/SP in the team’s 11th round contest against Sesc/RJ.
In the days of anticipation that preceeded the game, Endres was very anxious, per Melhordovolei.com.br:
“I’m pretty anxious. This week has been very different for me, the game is getting closer every day. It’s a debut for me, which has a position change to libero in a contest against a strong team that is fighting for first place in the standings. So there are lots of ingredients to make it a good game, especially for me, after everything I’ve been through. Also, Sesc’s coach, Giovane Gavio, started Sesi’s team from the ground up, and I was here together with him since the first year; we were champions together. We will be on opposite sides, but our respect and friendship for each other continues.”
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ELE TÁ DE VOLTA! 🙌🙌🙌 Nosso camisa 8, Murilo Endres retorna às quadras neste sábado contra o Sesc-RJ, pela última rodada do 1º turno da Superliga 17/18. Vamos lotar a Vila Leopoldina em busca dessa vitória! 👊🏼 📅 16/12 📍 São Paulo 🏟 Ginásio Vila Leopoldina 📺 @sportv 🎫 Entrada Gratuita #GoSesi #Superliga
Coach Giovane Gávio, who aside from being Murilo’s former coach was also his former teammate at Brazil’s national team, is glad to see Murilo back in the game, but not across the net from his squad.
“As someone who is very passionate about volleyball, I am very happy that Murilo is able to play again, now in a new position. Undoubtedly, the experience he has gained over the years will make him a coach on the court and will greatly help his team. As a friend, I’m very happy for him. As coach of the opposing team, I am very worried.”
Once considered the best opposite hitter in the world, his debut as libero saw him play very effective volleyball, as Sesi snapped Sesc’s 8 game winning streak and clinched 4th place in the Superliga standings. Sesc did everything it could to avoid serving at him, due to his amazing receiving skills. Of Sesi’s 72 receptions for the game, he only handled seven of them, with no errors. Here is what he had to say after the contest:
“I am still not in ideal shape, it’s my first first game. I did play even any friendly matches, and went into the fire against Sesc/RJ, which is having a very good season. I am coming back from a very difficult period, the position change is complicated, but this is a very special moment. I want to thank everyone who helped making this day very special.”
Murilo was suspended in May, after testing positive for furosemide, a diuretic and masking agent. Counter-testing showed that the banned substance found in his blood sample stemmed from medicine contamination and not from intentional use, so WADA recalled its punishment. Still, Murilo had to wait to make his official season debut, as he had to ride out the rest of his automatic suspension due to WADA’s strict liability principles.