Shock as German event star tests positive at Europeans

  • The German eventing team will lose its European Championships silver medal if a second sample returns a positive doping result.

    The FEI has told the German federation that Julia Krajewski’s ride Samourai Du Thot tested positive for firocoxib, a controlled substance which has an analgesic anti-inflammatory effect.

    The federation has asked for the horse’s B sample to be tested, the result of which is pending. Should this also prove positive, the German team will have to return the medal.

    “This will certainly be the most difficult time in my career as a horse rider and athlete, and I am seriously worried about what has happened,” Julia said.

    “I and my team have no explanation about how this substance has got into my horse, and believe that it was not administered by any fault of our own. Nevertheless, the positive result would mean disqualification for me, and lead to the subsequent loss of the hard-won silver medal for the German team. I am devastated to be (even unintentionally) the cause of such a bad blow for our great team, which has fought so hard for this success! That I have no idea how, when and why this substance got into Sam’s body, worries me deeply and is a big mystery to all of us.”

    Julia said the substance is used in two products, one for horses and one for dogs. Neither has been used in her stables and the team vet confirmed he does not use it for team horses, nor did he take it to the championships in Strzegom.

    Negative test

    She added that the horse returned a negative test before the Europeans, as German officials routinely test all horses before championships to ensure they are free from prohibited substances

    “Furthermore, there was not just a trace, but a substantial amount of firocoxib detected,” she added. “The detected level together with the relevant decomposition time suggest an administration between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning (after dressage, before cross-country).

    Together with the result of sample B, we hopefully receive documents that may hopefully allow further conclusions about the exact time or amount of the ingestion. Unfortunately, there is no video camera survey in the stables in Strzegom, thus we cannot fall back on video analysis, but have to rely on medical data.”

    Julia and her team are continuing to investigate how the drug came to be present.

    She said: “I firmly agree with the doping prevention rules and know about my obligations and responsibilities as a rider and the inevitable consequences. I would never, ever put a potential medal at risk by such a grossly negligent act as to administer a drug during a championship (let alone the one with the longest waiting period on the market) and I hope, that everybody else understands the absurdity of the idea that I could have done that on purpose.

    “I and my team are just clueless and shocked that something like that could happen to us.”

    After the B sample results are released, Julia has 21 days to decide whether to accept an administrative sanction or request a hearing in front of the FEI Tribunal.

    “A hearing before the tribunal only makes sense if Julia Krajewski can prove how the substance has got into the horse,” said German eventing chef d’equipe Prof Dr Jens Adolphsen. “In the case of a positive B sample, it is unavoidable her individual result will be scratched and the team silver medal returned because that is what the international rules provide for in such a positive medication case, no matter of guilt or innocence.”

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