Olympic Drug Tests: Add Pessoa to Offenders List

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Brazilian showjumper and former Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa is the latest Hong Kong rider to be found in violation of FEI drug and medication rules. Pessoa finished fifth in the individual show jumping. But wait...

This morning, the FEI announced that it had receiving notification last week from the lab about Pessoa's horse Rufus. A test carried out on the horse following the individual final revealed an A sample that tested positive for the banned substance nonivamide, part of the capsaicinoid family and classified as a "doping" prohibited substance given its hypersensitizing properties, and as a "medication class A" prohibited substance for its pain relieving properties.

The sample was received by the laboratory on August 23rd following the individual jumping final at which Rodrigo Pessoa and Rufus placed fifth. A preliminary hearing was held by teleconference August 28th before a member of the FEI Tribunal. The suspension was confirmed on 29 August.

The B sample test is scheduled for Tuesday, September 2nd in Hong Kong. Should the B sample confirm the findings of the A sample, 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 FEI Olympic website.

Evidence and written submissions will be requested and a hearing will be held before the FEI Tribunal. However it is up to the Person Responsible whether or not he wishes to exercise or waive his 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 result of the B sample and subsequently further updates regarding the hearing and final decision.

The competition results will be amended as indicated in the Tribunal's final decision. In terms of testing at the 2008 Olympic Games, all results have now been received, and there are no remaining cases to be reported.

Thanks to Malina Gueorguiev of the FEI for factual background on this report.

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