Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, known as Edinho, was released late Wednesday, a day after he was taken into custody in the coastal city of Santos. A judge had said he had to stay in jail during the appeal process, but his lawyers obtained a petition to free the former goalkeeper.
Edinho was handed a 33-year prison sentenced this year after being found guilty of laundering money to a drug gang.
The 74-year-old Pele, who underwent surgery to remove kidney stones last week, said he will not comment on the case.
Edinho played for Santos in the 1990s.