Eventer speaks out about WEG doping case

  • French eventer Maxime Livio has spoken publicly for the first time since his Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) mount, Qalao Des Mers (pictured), tested positive for acepromazine (ACP) following the competition in August.

    In an interview with France Complet, Maxime revealed that he believes the substance, which acts as a sedative, was administered to his horse without his knowledge in an act of sabotage.

    Maxime said that Italian vet Dr De Iuliis, one of the leading specialists on doping control, and who was present at the opening of the B sample, “submitted an expert report based on the concentration of acepromazine present in the urine sample B”.

    Dr De Iuliis’ findings point to the substance being administered between 11 pm on August 27 and 5am on August 28 — the first day of dressage competition. Based upon the administration schedule and service life of the substance Maxime believes that Dr De Iuliis has found sufficient proof that Qalao Des Mers was given the drug overnight.

    “The only way to enter [the stabling] in an emergency is by calling the night steward, signing a record at the night entrance to the stables, and being accompanied by the night steward and signing the register,” Maxime explained in the interview. “And, of course, neither Matilda nor I nor anyone around me applied that night, or any other night for that matter.

    “I do not know how the person who administered the product to Qalao did. There are only three ways to do: someone who returned to sign the register and deceived the vigilance of the night steward, a guard was bribed or someone broke the gates of the stable [compound].”

    Maxime informed France Complet that he and his team had submitted their dossier to the FEI on 3 November. A date had not been set for a response but he suggested that he was expecting a response after the 1 January 2015.

    It has not yet been announced how France’s standings in the final WEG results will be affected.

    If an FEI tribunal finds that Maxime was at fault, then it could disqualify the entire French team meaning they would therefore lose their qualification for the Rio Olympics in 2016. If this happens Canada would move up from seventh into a qualifying position.

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