Jock Paget must now look to an FEI hearing in order to clear his name — after the “B” blood sample taken from Clifton Promise after his Burghley win (8 September) also tested positive for the banned sedative, reserpine.
Equestrian Sport New Zealand (ESNZ) said it had received confirmation of the second positive test from the FEI and made the announcement earlier this evening (26 November).
In a statement, Jock said that while the B sample result was disappointing, it was expected — given that the blood in the B sample was taken at the same time as the A sample.
He said: “I will continue to work closely with my team to provide a full explanation to the FEI.”
Surrey-based Jock is currently teaching and visiting family in New Zealand.
ESNZ chief executive Jim Ellis said they had stood Jock down from teaching official ESNZ clinics — in line with their own clean sport policy and in support of the FEI’s clean sport stance.
Mr Ellis said Jock was fully supportive of their position.
He added: “ESNZ is confident that he will provide a full and persuasive explanation to the FEI.”
Clifton Pinot — ridden by Australia’s Kevin McNab — also tested positive for reserpine after Burghley. The Australian federation has not yet published the results of the Clifton Pinot B test.
Frances Stead — the majority owner of both horses — did not wish to comment.
Both riders are suspended from international competition, pending the outcome of the case. The minimum FEI suspension for a banned substance is two years.
Contrary to some media reports, Jock does not automatically lose his Burghley title. That awaits the outcome of the FEI tribunal, which is expected to take place early next year.
But it looks unlikely that Jock will be able to contest the Rolex grand slam of eventing at Kentucky in the spring (24-27 April). He would need to have been fully exonerated by the FEI tribunal by then in order to compete.