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Isabell Werth suspended from competition for six months

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Olympic dressage rider Isabell Werth has been suspended from competition for six months, after her horse Whisper tested positive for a banned drug in May.

Ms Werth appeared before an FEI tribunal, in July who today (3 September) announced that they ruled her responsible for doping the horse.

Ms Werth — who has won five Olympic medals — was suspended immediately on 23 June. The suspension will finish on 22 December — but Ms Werth has 30 days to appeal the ban.

Earlier this year Ms Werth’s small tour horse Whisper tested positive for banned substance Fluphenazine at CDI Wiesbaden in Germany (29 May).

Fluphenazine is a sedative usually prescribed as an antipsychotic in humans to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

A statement from the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) read: “A panel of the FEI tribunal has taken its decision in the equine anti-doping and medication control rule case involving the horse Whisper ridden by Isabell Werth.

“Consistent with the FEI’s strict liability approach to anti-doping rule violations, the panel has found Isabell Werth responsible for the doping of her horse Whisper at CDI 4* Wiesbaden (GER) on 29 May 2009 and has suspended her from FEI competition for a period of six months until 22 December 2009.”

Ms Werth will not be banned from the 2012 London Olympics.

She has also been fined 1,500 Swiss francs and ordered to pay 2,000 Swiss francs towards legal costs.

Ms Werth told a German news agency: “I am glad the decision is finally there. That a punishment would come was clear. The question was only whether it would last four, five, six or more months.”

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk