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Athens Gold Medalist Cian O'Connor Disqualified

Press Release

Following a hearing held in Zurich, Switzerland, on March 27, the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) Judicial Committee determined that there had been a breach of FEI General Regulations Art. 146.2 at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens related to the presence of the prohibited substances of fluphenazine and zuclopenthixol in the horse Waterford Crystal ridden by Cian O'Connor of Ireland.

O'Connor and Wateford Crystal finished first in the Individual Jumping competition at the Games.

The Judicial Committee accepted the reports of the analysis of the A urine sample as performed by the Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques in France and also the analysis on a blood sample as performed by the USEF Drug Testing and Research Laboratory in the United States. The FEI Veterinary Regulations Art. 1022 permits the combination of analyses of blood and of urine.

The Judicial Committee declines to rely upon what is identified as an A Blood Sample analysis. The Judicial Committee decided that both substances as above are Prohibited Substances within the meaning of the Veterinary Regulations.

Accordingly, the following consequences shall apply:

1. Disqualification from all competitions of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens pursuant to General Regulations Art. 146.2 and 174.7.1.

2. The Person Responsible (PR) shall make a contribution to the costs of CHF 5000 (roughly $4,155 US) pursuant to General Regulations 174.12.

3. Suspension for the period of 3 months commencing at the date that is 30 days after the receipt by Equestrian Federation of Ireland of the full written decision of the FEI Judicial Committee. The Judicial Committee is satisfied that the PR has established that he was not involved in "a deliberate attempt to affect the performance of the horse ..." as referred to in General Regulations 174.7.3.

The above is a brief summary of the reasons and the decision.

O'Connor may file an appeal against the decision of the Judicial Committee with the Court of Arbitration for Sport within a period of 30 days, upon receipt of the formal decision, in accordance with Article 170 of the General Regulations of the FEI.

The FEI list of prohibited substances for horses is published on the FEI web site under the section veterinary--medication control. The FEI complete legal procedure for positive medication cases is published in the section legal--legal procedure.