Clean Games for Equestrian sport

The Federation Equestre Internationale yesterday hailed London 2012 as a “clean Games for equestrian sport”.

More human and equine testing took place at London 2012 than at any previous Olympic Games, with all medallists’ horses tested, plus all fourth-placed horses.

Random testing was also carried out, with horses being picked by computerised selection.

In terms of humans, all top four finishers were tested — plus two other athletes selected at random — by the International Olympic Committee.

It is unfortunate, but understandable, that there would be a slight cloud over Cian O’Connor’s bronze medal win in London, he having been stripped of his gold after Athens in 2004, but yesterday’s FEI statement banishes any doubt.

FEI president Princess Haya acknowledged much work was required following the debacles surrounding the previous two Olympics.

“The FEI had a really steep mountain to climb after Athens and Hong Kong, but we had a clean Youth Olympic Games, a clean FEI World Equestrian Games and now we’ve crowned it with a clean Olympic Games in London,” Princess Haya said.

“The fact that all human and equine samples came back negative demonstrates the success of the FEI Clean Sport campaign, which has resulted in a major reduction in the number of positives in the Olympic disciplines over the past two-and-a-half years.”

Ireland show jumping manager Robert Splaine said riders were now better informed.

“I welcome the news that there were no positives from any of the horses competing for all nations, but it is as I expected.

“The systems have been greatly clarified in recent times and riders are up to speed and well aware as to what is required from them,” said Splaine.


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