Britain’s leading show jumper Michael Whitaker has been suspended from competition by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) for an alleged doping offence.

Mr Whitaker had been due to jump at the Global Champions show at Monte Carlo over the weekend but after a preliminary FEI hearing on Friday he withdrew.

Traces of the hormone altrenogest, which is found in Regumate given to in-season mares, were found in a sample taken from Mr Whitaker’s stallion Tackeray at La Baule on 14 May.

An FEI statement reads: “The FEI can confirm that the A sample taken from the horse Tackeray ridden by Michael Whitaker at CSIO5*, in La Baule, France on 14 May 2009 tested positive for the Prohibited Substance Altrenogest, which is classified as “doping” under the equine anti-doping and medication control rules.

“Consistent with FEI rules, the rider was provisionally suspended from competition. Mr Whitaker challenged the provisional suspension at a preliminary hearing before the Preliminary Hearing Panel member.

“The provisional suspension of Mr. Whitaker was maintained by the preliminary hearing Panel member and Mr. Whitaker therefore remains provisionally suspended.

“Mr Whitaker has requested a B Sample confirmatory analysis and a full hearing before the FEI Tribunal.”

See Thursday’s H&H for more on this story