Positive drug test for British horse at major international

  • A leading British showjumper has been sanctioned by the FEI after her horse tested positive for a prohibited substance at a major show.

    Laura Renwick’s ride Heliodor Hybris tested positive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid listed as a controlled medication by the FEI, at CSI5* Villach, Treffen, in Austria (16-19 June).

    The combination’s results at the show included a second place in the accumulator on 18 June.

    Mrs Renwick, who is currently ranked as the fourth-highest British showjumper in the world, accepted the FEI’s administrative sanction on 21 September.

    She declined to comment on the case when contacted by H&H.

    An FEI spokesman told H&H that the information, which is published on its administrative sanction table, is public for three months following receipt of the person responsible’s acceptance.

    Under rule 8.3.3 of the FEI’s equine controlled medication rules, the combination was disqualified from the event, all prize money forfeited and a fine of CHF 1,500 (£1,230.78) plus costs were ordered to be paid.

    Clean sport

    The FEI’s “equine prohibited substances list” (ESPL), published on the organisation’s website, is split into two categories — banned substances and controlled medications.

    Banned substances are deemed by the FEI to have “no legitimate use in the competition horse and/or have a high potential for abuse”. They are not permitted for use in the competition horse at any time.

    However, controlled medications — including betamethasone — are commonly used in equine medicine and are deemed by the FEI to have therapeutic value to horses. Under FEI rules, controlled medications must not be present in horses on competition days.

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