Rodrigo Pessoa suspended until next year for Olympic doping offence

  • Rodrigo Pessoa has been suspended for 135 days after his horse tested positive for a banned drug during the Olympic Games.

    The top rider from Brazil was one of five show jumpers whose horses tested positive for banned substances in Hong Kong this summer.

    The governing body of horse sport, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has today banned Rodrigo Pessoa for 4.5 months and fined him 2,000 Swiss Francs (nearly £1,000). He and his horse, Rufus, have been disqualified from the Olympic Games.

    Vets at the Hong Kong Racing Laboratory carried out tests on two samples from Rufus — on 23 August and then on 2 September. Both tested positive for the banned drug Nonivamide — a capsaicinoid with hypersensitising properties.

    In issuing its decision this evening, the FEI’s disciplinary tribunal said: “It is each person responsible’s personal duty to ensure that no prohibited substance is present in his or her horse’s body during an event.”

    Rodrigo Pessoa will be allowed to compete again from 10 January 2009.

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