Adriano De Souza began the Billabong Pro Rio without some of his most trusted sleds. In the days leading up to the start of the Rio event, Adriano had some of his boards seized by Brazilian customs and was forced to surf his Round 1 heat today on a backup board. He lost to Tiago Pires.
Brazil limits imports to $500 to help combat the country’s rampant black market. However, athletes traveling with equipment are normally exempt from the rule. But apparently an “associate” was traveling with Adriano’s boards and that’s why they were seized. De Souza’s quiver could have been released if he had paid a fine, but he refused to do so.
“He would have to pay taxes, but he didn’t pay taxes and left,” Roberto Limeira, a customs official told Bloomberg. It’s unclear what will happen to Adriano’s boards.
Apparently, this wasn’t the first time that Adriano has had a run-in with customs. In 2012, authorities seized his trophy from his win at J-Bay. It took him four months to get it back.