The FEI Tribunal has lifted the provisional suspensions on Swiss Jumping riders Steve Guerdat and Alessandra Bichsel, following preliminary hearings for the two riders at the end of last week. The lifting of the provisional suspensions will come into force today, 27 July at midnight CEST (Swiss time).
The FEI Tribunal’s decision is mainly based on the scientific evidence presented by the persons responsible (the athletes) which suggests the likelihood of food contamination.
Both riders had been provisionally suspended after horses on which they were competing tested positive for prohibited substances, including banned substances.
Samples taken at the CSIO5* at La Baule (FRA) on 17 May from the horse Nino des Buissonnets (FEI ID FRA45550), ridden by Steve Guerdat, returned positive for the banned substances Codeine and Oripavine, and the controlled medication substance Morphine.
Samples taken at the CSIO5* at La Baule on 16 May from the horse Nasa (FEI ID FRA45675), ridden by Steve Guerdat, returned positive for the banned substance Codeine and the controlled medication substance Morphine. The horse’s sample also showed traces of Oripavine, but not at a sufficiently high level for the testing laboratory to declare a positive for the substance.
Samples taken at the CSIOY (Young Riders) in Deauville (FRA) on 8 May from the horse Charivari KG (FEI ID 102ZB26), ridden by Alessandra Bichsel, returned positive for the banned substances Codeine and Oripavine, and the controlled medication substance Morphine.
A preliminary hearing was held via teleconference on Thursday 23 July to hear Steve Guerdat’s request to lift the provisional suspension imposed on him and the two horses Nino des Buissonnets and Nasa.
A preliminary hearing was held via teleconference the following day, Friday 24 July to hear Alessandra Bichsel’s request to lift the provisional suspension imposed on her and the horse Charivari KG.
While the FEI Tribunal lifted the provisional suspensions on the two riders, requests for the lifting of the provisional suspension on the three horses were denied. The Tribunal found that irrespective of the source of the prohibited substances, banned substances had been found in the system of the horses and it is the FEI’s established policy to impose a provisional suspension period of two months in such cases.
Today’s decisions purely ruled on the lifting of the provisional suspensions. Decisions on the merits of the cases will be made at a later stage.