Leading event riders suspended after testing positive for banned stimulants

  • Three top US event riders have been provisionally suspended from international competition after testing positive for a banned stimulant.

    The three riders — Hannah Sue Burnett, Jennie Brannigan and Alyssa Phillips — were all tested at the Ocala Jockey Club International in Florida (16-20 November), where Hannah Sue won the CIC3*. All three recorded a positive result for the prohibited substance amfetamine, with Alyssa also testing positive for canrenone and Jennie for methylphenidate and ritalinic acid.

    Amfetamine and methylphenidate are listed in the stimulants category of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2017 prohibited list, as is phenethylamine and its derivatives, which include ritalinic acid. Canrenone is included in the diuretics and masking agents category. 

    “The FEI has announced three adverse analytical findings under the FEI Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes (ADRHA), which are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code,” said an FEI statement.

    “In accordance with the WADA Code, the FEI has notified WADA and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) of the positives.

    “The athletes have been provisionally suspended from the date of notification (21 December) until the FEI Tribunal renders a decision, but can request the lifting of the provisional suspension and ask for testing of the B sample within the next 21 days.”

    The FEI Tribunal will also decide whether the riders’ placings at the event stand and what happens to their prize-money. As well as Hannah Sue’s win in the top class, Alyssa finished seventh in the CCI* on Cooley Caviar and sixth in the CCI2* on Oskar.

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    A statement from the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) confirmed the riders are also provisionally suspended from USEF-sanctioned activities.

    “Contrary to speculation, cocaine was not detected in any samples taken at the event,” added the USEF statement — presumably referring to a recent piece on a Canadian website which suggested unnamed event riders had tested positive for cocaine.

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