Equestrian Olympic Drug Testing Clarifications Announced by FEI

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) released the following information in regard to the four horses that tested positive to prohibited medications at the 2008 Olympic Games.

"Below are some clarifications on the procedure that will be followed in relation to the positive doping/medication cases at the 2008 Olympic Games unveiled by the FEI on 21 August 2008.

"The process will follow the Accelerated Medication Control Procedure during and after the 2008 Olympic Games, which is part of the FEI Regulations for Equestrian events at the 2008 Olympic Games (Annex G), available on FEI Olympic Web site.

"Further to that procedure, B tests commence within 2 days of notification of the positive A results.

"The following is an indicative timeline. As per Annex G, these are procedural deadlines intended to ensure prompt resolution of judicial proceedings affecting competition results. As with any legal proceeding, specific circumstances may affect these deadlines."

Following is the timeline as listed by FEI:

Indicative timeline:

  • Samples received by lab 18 August (Ahlmann/Cöster) & 19 August (others).
  • Positive A result reported to FEI 20 August (Ahlmann/Cöster) & 21 August (others).
  • B sample analysis process to commence 22 August (Ahlmann/Cöster) & 23 August (others).
  • B sample results to be reported within 7 days (30 August).
  • Hearing to be held within the next week (by 8 September).
  • Tribunal (per its own targets) to issue decision no later than 28 days of hearing or last submissions, whichever occurs last (latest first week of October).

"Updates will be issued on the results of the B sample tests (by 30 August), hearings (by 8 September) and final decisions (latest first week of October)."

The suspended horse/rider pairs are: Tony Andre Hansen/Camiro, Norway; Denis Lynch/Latinus, Ireland; Bernardo Alves/Chupa Chup, Brazil;
and Christian Ahlmann/Cöster, Germany.

As was mentioned in a previous article on TheHorse.com, what's especially odd about these suspensions is that all four horses tested positive for the same banned substance: capsaicin, which is the ingredient that gives chili peppers their heat. It's prohibited in FEI competition because it can make a horse's skin ultra-sensitive (which, in jumping, presumably could make him extra-loath to touch an obstacle) and because it has pain-relieving properties.

For more information read our previous article about the suspended horses at TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More