Horse Doping Update From the 2008 Olympics

Aug 28, 2008 5 Comments by

Test B results are in for the four show jumpers who tested positive for the illegal substance Capsacain, and they are confirmed positive. An article on Equisearch says:

Now that the B samples have confirmed all the initial findings, the process will follow the Accelerated Medication Control Procedure during and after the 2008 Olympic Games which is part of the FEI Regulations for Equestrian events at the 2008 Olympic Games (Annex G), available on the FEI Olympic website.

Evidence and written submissions have been requested from each rider, and a three-member panel of the FEI Tribunal has been appointed. Hearings will be held September 5-7 in Lausanne, Switzerland, however, it is up to the people responsible 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, take a decision as to the applicable sanction, if any.

An update will be provided by the FEI following the hearings (September 8) and final decisions will be announced prior to the end of the first week in October, provided the hearings can be held as scheduled. However, these deadlines are indicative timelines, and may be affected by specific circumstances as with any legal proceeding. The competition results will be amended as indicated in the Tribunal’s final decision.

The horse and rider teams involved are:

Bernardo Alves (BRA)/Chupa Chup
Christian Ahlmann (GER)/Cöster
Denis Lynch (IRL)/Latinus
Tony Andre Hansen (NOR)/Camiro

Courtney King-Dye’s Harmony Mythilus Tests Positive For Banned Substance

It was quite a shocker to hear that Courtney King-Dye’s Olympic mount tested positive for Felbinac, which is usually applied topically for the relief of local pain and inflammation. The FEI held off on making a public announcement until after the results of the test B sample were in.

After reading the article on Equisearch, I’m pretty convinced that it was an accident.

Mythilus was treated in the equine clinic at Sha Tin when he arrived for artrial fibrillation as a result of stress from his trip. He was attended by their doctors as well as the USEF Veterinarian Dr. Rick Mitchell. Neither Dr. Mitchell or Courtney had ever even heard of the drug in question, and it is not manufactured or sold in the United States.

King-Dye and Dr. Mitchell believe that during treatment at the clinic, he may have come in contact with Felbinac. In discussion with King-Dye, USEF vets, grooms and physical therapists, no other explanation or conclusion was able to be drawn.

“Neither I nor my vets had ever heard of the drug Felbinac until we got the call about Myth’s positive test,” said King-Dye. “We were stunned and baffled. We spent the entire day doing Internet research on the uses for this drug and how it could possibly have gotten into my horse’s system. As far as we could find it is not even manufactured, approved or available in the U.S. My horse has had no soundness problems whatsoever, and I would have no need for an anti-inflammatory. Anyone who knows me knows wholeheartedly that I would never dope my horse intentionally. It is cheating; it is not putting your best against the other’s best. I have never been in a more torturous and frustrating situation; trying to prove innocence is very hard. It saddens me beyond description that my whole reputation could be blackened because of this situation.”

The FEI Tribunal stated in their preliminary decision that “there are circumstances in this case that makes it difficult to clear out how the prohibited substance entered into the horse’s system.”

“The USEF stands behind the FEI’s initiatives to rid the sport of doping and to protect the welfare of our horses. We are equally supportive of Courtney in this situation as this substance was unknown to any of us until a few days ago,” said USEF CEO John Long. “It seems clear that Mythilus came into contact with it without Courtney’s or Dr. Mitchell’s knowledge.”

I sure hope Courtney’s name can be cleared of this incident. From everything I’ve read about her, and her reaction to the situation, it seems pretty clear that she’s not at fault. She’s the kind of rider who is in it because she loves the horses, not the money or fame, so she’s going to take good care of them. Unfortunately, we will probably never know exactly how the drug got into Mythilus’s system.

2008 Olympics

5 Responses to “Horse Doping Update From the 2008 Olympics”

  1. OnTheBit says:

    OMH JACKIE!!!!! I cannot believe it! Your killing me…I am glad you reported on this…I am totally linking to your post…I am in shock!

  2. I am positive Courtney King-Dye Would not dope a horse!! « A Horse and a Half says:

    [...] Courtney King-Dye’s Olympic mount, Mythilus, tested positive in a drug test at the Olympics. Now the drug in question is not even manufactured in the US and Mythi went into the equine clinic in China when he first got there because he was under the weather. So what most likely happened was someone slipped in an anti-informatory to help out his treatment without knowing the FEI drug rules. And now my dressage Idols name is going to be run through he mud. I firmly believe that Courtney is innocent, but it is not up to me to decide. If you saw the way she acted around her horses at all the shows before, after and during the ride you wouldn’t believe it either. I just don’t believe that someone who loves horses like she clearly does would do anything to put them in harms way. I am really upset by this. I hope her reputation is not scared because of this mess. And you can take me out to the street and tar and feather me if it is proved that he was drugged knowingly. That is how sure I am that this is all some sort of horrible mistake. To go to the Olympics at 30 in dressage and score in the 70s is an amazing accomplishment, but that is likely to be overshadowed by all of this drugging nonsense. I believe Courtney King. I hope everyone else does too. To read more about it check out Jackie’s post on the matter. [...]

  3. Jackie says:

    Ahh, I knew you weren’t going to be happy when you saw this. Just don’t shoot the messenger, ok? And I hope for your sake (I don’t want to come tar and feather you) that it was accidental — although I’m quite sure it was too.

  4. OnTheBit says:

    I promise not kill the messenger. I am actully glad you brought it to my attention…it would have been worse to read it in the news. At least since I read it in your blog first when my RL horsey friends bring it up I am very informed. And I hope you don’t have to come and tar and feather me either…I think you are close enough by though that if you do at least it wont be a high gas bill :P I hope that they find her innocent and that you are right in thinking not too many people heard this.

  5. K says:

    Let’s be realistic about this… Despite Courtney’s statement that she couldn’t find info about Felbinac distributed in the US, she was in fact in GERMANY for weeks prior to the games. Whether or not the drug was used intentionally is moot – it is her responsibility to know what is administered to her horse just as much as it is the vet’s job. My sister has been in this situation, having won several national titles, only to have to give everything back because her trainer administered a minimum dosage of an illegal anti-histamine without my family’s knowledge. It is essential that the rider be held accountable for what happens in these situations – that is fairness in the sport.

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