Posted on: April 24, 2015

France stripped of Olympic equestrian's team eventing berth

By Supriyo Das

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France stripped of Olympic equestrian's team eventing berth

Paris, April 24 (IANS) The French eventing team has been stripped of the 2016 Olympics qualification spot after a positive dope test at last summer's World Equestrian Games, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Tribunal said.

French team member Maxime Livio's horse Qalao des Mers tested positive for "a controlled medication substance" banned in competition at last August's World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, reports Xinhua.

The FEI Tribunal thus disqualified Livio and Qalao des Mers from the 2014 World Equestrian Games, fifth in individual rankings as well as the French team which finished fourth to secure qualification for the Rio Games, resulting in the loss of its Olympic qualifying slot.

"Samples taken on 29 August 2014 from the horse Qalao des Mers returned positive for Hydroxyethylpromazine sulfoxide, a metabolite of the sedative Acepromazine," an FEI statement said on Thursday.

On the FEI prohibited substances list, Acepromazine is a controlled medication substance which is regularly used to treat horses but are not allowed in competition in order to maintain a level-playing field.

"Any breach of the FEI's Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations results in automatic disqualification of the rider/horse combination. Additionally, at Olympics or World Equestrian Games, a positive result for a team member will, except in exceptional circumstances, result in the disqualification of the whole team," added the statement.

Canada, which had originally finished seventh, now join Germany, Britain, the Netherlands, Australia and Ireland to get one of the six Olympic eventing berths offered at the World Equestrian Games. Brazil earns automatic team qualification for Rio 2016 as hosts.

The Tribunal ruled solely on the disqualifications while a final decision on further sanctions will be issued later.

Earlier this month, another case involving Livio was dropped by the FEI as the B sample from Bingo S, a borrowed horse ridden by Livio at a Jumping event in Thailand last November, failed to confirm the initial positive result.

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