The FEI has received confirmation that the B sample of the horse Rufus, ridden by Rodrigo Pessoa at the 2008 Olympic Games, has yielded a positive test result for the banned substance nonivamide thus confirming the initial positive findings from the A sample. Nonivamide is part of the capsaicinoid family and is classified as a “doping” prohibited substance given its hypersensitising properties, and as a “medication class A” prohibited substance for its pain relieving properties.
The A sample was received by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory on Saturday 23 August following the individual Jumping Final at which Rodrigo Pessoa and Rufus placed fifth. Further to the initial positive finding, the rider was provisionally suspended and a preliminary hearing was held by teleconference on 28 August before a member of the FEI Tribunal; the provisional suspension was confirmed on 29 August.
The B sample test was conducted on 2 September at the same laboratory.
This process is in accordance with 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 – page 55), available on FEI Olympic website.
A hearing with a panel of the FEI Tribunal is currently being scheduled and will be announced in due course.
The panel will, in light of all the evidence received, take a decision as to the applicable sanction. The competition results will be amended as indicated in the Tribunal’s final decision. The rider remains suspended until such a decision is taken.