The French eventing team appear to be at a greater risk of losing their Olympic qualification after it has been reported that a B sample for Maxime Livio’s Qalao des Mers (pictured) has come back positive.
In September it was revealed that the horse — who finished fifth individually at the World Equestrian Games and helped the team to fourth — had tested positive for sedative acepromazine (ACP) on the dressage day (29 August).
French media are reporting that a second B sample has confirmed that ACP was present. The FEI were unable to comment as it is part of an “ongoing case”.
The drug is listed as a controlled substance by the FEI meaning that is a routinely used medication, but that it is banned in competition to “maintain a level playing field”.
ACP is a tranquiliser that can be used to reduce anxiety or tension. For horses it is licensed to be used either in injection form or paste syringes in the UK. It can also be found in a tablet form that is no longer allowed for legitimate equine use.
“It is often prescribed by equine vets if horses need to be calmed for travelling, shoeing or clipping and also is an effective pre-medication used before equine general anesthesia,” said H&H vet Karen Coumbe
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 Rio in 2016. If this happens Canada would move up from seventh into a qualifying position.