Jessica Kurten pulls out of FEI tribunal over positive medication case

  • Irish show jumper Jessica Kurten has decided not to appear in front of a tribunal looking at the positive medication case of her horse Castle Forbes Maike.

    Random blood samples were taken from Castle Forbes Maike at La Baule, France, in May 2007. Tests on two different samples returned positive for a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug called Etoricoxib.

    While not widely known for its use in horses, Etoricoxib is classed as a “medication” substance rather than a “doping” substance.

    As such, the presence of Etoricoxib in the horse’s blood is a minor infringement of the rules set out by the governing body of horse sport, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

    But since the first positive test, Jessica Kurten has insisted her horse was not given any drug, and that she wanted the case heard in front of an FEI tribunal. She also publicly accused the FEI of bungling the case.

    But today the FEI announced that the tribunal was cancelled.

    FEI spokesman Malina Gueorguiev told H&H: “Jessica decided not to appear at a hearing, and we have never received a formal complaint on FEI procedures.”

    The FEI has sent of file of evidence gathered from vets and laboratories to Jessica’s legal team, who had until 4 February to return any further evidence with their own representation.

    But the rider has requested has now requested an extension to this deadline. Her case will be submitted to the FEI by 28 February, and the federation’s disciplinary committee will return a decision within 28 days.

    “The tribunal will examine everything in the file and make their own decision,” said Malina.

    Maximum penalties for this offence are a one-year suspension from competition, together with a CHF15,000 (£7,000) fine and forfeit of the €22,000 (£15,400) prize-money Jessica won at La Baule.

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