The FEI Tribunal has decided to maintain the two-month provisional suspensions on three Swiss jumping horses over failed drug tests.
The tribunal maintained the suspensions on Nino des Buissonnets and Nasa, both ridden by Steve Guerdat, and Charivari KG, ridden by Alessandra Bichsel.
The ruling means Guerdat will not be able to ride Nino des Buissonnets, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, at the FEI European Jumping Championships in Aachen, Germany, as planned.
The suspensions were imposed on the horses on July 20 after they failed drug tests.
Samples taken from Nino des Buissonnets at the CSIO5* at La Baule, France, on May 17 were positive for the banned substances codeine and oripavine and the controlled medication morphine. Samples taken the day before from Nasa at the same event were positive for codeine and morphine. The horse’s sample also showed traces of oripavine, but not at a sufficiently high level for the laboratory to declare a positive result.
Samples taken from Charivari KG at the CSIOY (Young Riders) event in Deauville, France, on May 8 were positive for codeine, oripavine and morphine.
Guerdat and Bichsel were told of the test results on July 20 and both immediately sought the lifting of the automatic provisional suspensions imposed on them.
The tribunal lifted the rider suspensions a week later, based mainly on scientific evidence presented by the riders which suggested the likelihood of food contamination. It was earlier reported that poppy-seed contamination was thought to be behind the positive tests.
However, the requests to lift the suspensions on the three horses were denied at that time.
Guerdat asked the tribunal to revisit the suspensions imposed on his horses, seeking an answer by August 10 – the closing date for definite entries for the FEI European Jumping Championships. The tribunal has now ruled that they would remain in place.
Guerdat is eligible to compete in Aachen, but he will not be able to ride Nino des Buissonnets, one of his horses declared for the championships, and will need to select an alternative pre-declared horse.
Decisions on the full merits of the cases will be made at a later stage.
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