Top British showjumper Tim Stockdale, who has been long-listed for the Athens Olympics, has had a ban preventing him from being a member of the Olympic show jumping team lifted by the British Olympic Association (BOA).
Tim became ineligible for selection for the Olympics under a BOA bye-law when the FEI found him guilty of a minor doping offence in 2002. The offence occured when Traxdata Wiston Bridget tested positive for the prohibited substance, hydroxyethylpromazine, which is found in some sedatives, at an international competition at Modena in 2001.
Under the BOA’s bye-law, any athlete who has been found guilty of a drugs-related offence is no longer eligible for selection for the Olympics. Tim appealed against the decision and the BOA Appeals Panel decided to restore his eligibility for a place on the Olympic squad as it felt “the offence was minor”.
Tim told HHO: “I never doubted that my appeal would be successful because the amount of the substance found was so minor that the horse could have picked it up anywhere.
“If the BOA had prevented me from competing in the Olympics it would have been like some one who had earnt a parking ticket being treated like a murderer.”
BOA’s chief executive Simon Clegg says: “The BOA’s life time ban for any athlete found guilty of any doping offence exists to deter athletes from taking drugs of any type. The appeals procedure is constituted to consider those cases of a minor nature or where there are significant mitigating circumstances.
“I am pleased that Tim Stockdale’s appeal has been upheld and offer him our best wishes in his quest for selection for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.”
Tim, who is currently ranked just outside Britain’s top 10 riders, has never represented Britain at the Olympics, despite being short-listed twice before.
Tim says: “I think I’m in with a real chance this time with Fresh Direct Parcival, who is making good progress in his recovery from injury. He is back in work and we hope to start jumping again in March.”
Jacky Knightly of the BSJA says: “The BSJA is delighted that Tim’s appeal has proved successful and we look forward to seeing all of our riders doing well in the forthcoming season.”
- Di Lampard has also successfully appealed against the BOA bye-law after Abbervail Dream failed a routine dope test last year. Di is now eligible to represent Britain in Athens.