Waterford Crystal blood test proves positive

  • Irish show jumper Cian O’Connor looks increasingly likely to lose his Olympic gold medal, following the unofficial news that tiny traces of prohibited substances have also been found in Waterford Crystal’s “B” blood sample.

    The sample was tested in New York on Monday, following the disappearance of a quantity of the “B” urine sample last week, and was found to contain miniscule amounts of Fluphenazine and Zuclophenthixol.

    However, O’Connor is adamant that he did not use drugs to try to enhance the performance of Waterford Crystal in Athens. He has maintained throughout this saga that they were in the horse’s system as a result of treatment some period before the competition.

    In a statement from his lawyer, O’Connor says: “I have been unofficially informed that the B blood sample taken from my Olympic horse has been tested. Minute traces of the medications fluphenazine and zuclopenthixol have been found.

    “I have always maintained that the “B” analysis would confirm that my horse was given a medication by my vet during a therapy session well in advance of the Games.

    “The preliminary readings seem to suggest a figure of 120 picograms of Fluphenazine which amounts to 0.00012 millionth of a gram in 1 millilitre of blood and also that the quantity of concentration of Zuclopenthixol amounts to 0.0005 millionth of a gram in 1 millilitre of blood.

    “These readings are so minute that they confirm that they had absolutely no therapeutic or performance enhancing effect on my horse at the Games.

    “This corroborates my explanation that the horse had been given a sedative by my vet well in advance of the Olympic Games in Athens.”

    O’Connor’s vet James Sheeran has admitted that he administered the drugs, which are usually used in human psychiatric patients, to Waterford Crystal during a hydrotherapy session prior to the Games.

    Sheeran explains: “Waterford Crystal was in full fitness, but needed treatment in a hydrotherapy unit for one week. This entails standing in an enclosed space and I did not want him to injure himself. I chose these drugs because I wanted a calming effect without making him sleepy or unsteady on his feet, as equine medicines would.”

    The Irish Equestrian Federation is currently awaiting official confirmation of the test results from the FEI.

    Have your say

    A recent HHO poll found that 37% of users felt that current dope testing facilities were too sensitive. Do you believe that the sport benefits when the system is locating such tiny amounts of a drug? Have your say in the HHO forum

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