Pessoa Horse Substance Positive Confirmed on 'B' Sample

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has received confirmation that the second ("B") sample collected from the horse Rufus, ridden by Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil at the 2008 Olympic Games, has yielded a positive test result for the banned substance nonivamide. This confirms the initial positive findings from the "A" sample.

Nonivamide is part of the capsaicinoid family and is classified as a "doping" prohibited substance given its hypersensitizing properties, and also as a "medication class A" prohibited substance for its pain relieving properties.

Four other horses at the games tested positive for capsaicin.  

The "A" sample from Rufus was received by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory Aug. 23 following the individual jumping final, in which Pessoa and Rufus placed fifth. Following to the initial positive finding, the rider was provisionally suspended and a preliminary hearing before a member of the FEI tribunal was held by teleconference Aug. 28. The provisional suspension was confirmed Aug. 29.

The "B" sample test was conducted Sept. 2 at the same laboratory.

The process will now follow the accelerated medication control procedure used during and after the 2008 Olympic Games, which is part of the FEI's Regulations for Equestrian Events at the 2008 Olympic Games (Annex G). This is available on FEI Olympic Web site.

Evidence and written submissions will be requested and a hearing will be held before the FEI Tribunal. It is up to the person responsible to determine whether or not they wish to exercise or waive their right to be heard. The panel will then, in light of all the evidence received, make a decision as to the applicable sanction if any.

An update will be provided by the FEI following the result of the B sample, along with further updates regarding the hearing and final decision.

The competition results will be amended as indicated in the tribunal's final decision.

In terms of testing at the 2008 Olympic Games, all results have now been received, and there are no remaining cases to be reported.

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