Drug testing in horses: Germany’s loss of 2017 European Eventing silver confirmed
In equestrian sports, there are at least two athletes, depending on the discipline: a human and a horse. And like in track and field, swimming, or any other athletic activity, both the rider and horse have to compete ‘clean’, without prohibited substances in their bodies.
Drugs in sport is very much in the global spotlight at the moment after the International Olympic Committee’s decision this week to ban Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping. But in the equestrian sports world, there has also been increased attention to the issue following German rider Julia Krajewski’s acceptance of a sanction by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), the world governing body for Olympic horse sport disciplines. That sanction came after a positive test for a controlled medication in her mount Samourai du Thot at August’s 2017 FEI European Eventing Championships in Strzegom, Poland.
As a result of the positive test for Firocoxib in the 11-year-old gelding, Germany lost its Team silver medal, Sweden was promoted to Team silver, and the bronze medal will now be given to the Italians, who finished fourth at the Championships. Great Britain, winners of the gold medal, remain unaffected by the reallocation of medals.
Following the initial test result, Julia Krajewski was given the option of accepting an Administrative Sanction (Fast Track) or requesting a hearing before the FEI Tribunal. But after a B sample which confirmed the result and the expiry of a deadline at the end of November, the rider chose to accept the sanction, which carries an automatic disqualification, a fine of 1,500 Swiss francs and the payment of costs to include testing of the B sample, but no suspension.