Olympic equestrian champion suspended after horses test positive

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Olympic show jumping champion Steve Guerdat was provisionally suspended after two of his horses from May competition tested positive for banned substances, but the failed tests may be the result of contamination.

Guerdat, one of two Swiss gold medalists at London 2012, rode horses in a May competition in France that ended up testing positive for banned substances codeine and oripavine and the controlled substance morphine.

“The presence in all these samples of oripavine, which is not found in any veterinary products, suggests that this could be contamination, but obviously we still have to follow standard procedure,” International Equestrian Federation secretary General Sabrina Zeender said in a press release.

In three 2014 cases involving oripavine and morphine, all were deemed highly likely to be the case of contamination, and the provisional suspensions were lifted by a federation tribunal by the end of the year.

Guerdat and another provisionally suspended Swiss rider have the opportunity for a preliminary hearing before a federation tribunal to request their suspensions be lifted.

Guerdat is tied for third in the jumping world rankings.

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