Eventing

German Eventing Team Loses Championship Medal Following Positive Drug Test

Julia KRAJEWSKI (GER) & SAMOURAI DU THOT compete in the FEI European Eventing Championships in Strzegom, Poland. Photo FEI/Jon Stroud Media

This week in eventing news, Germany’s loss is Italy’s gain.

The FEI announced yesterday that the team medals for the FEI European Eventing Championships in Strzegom, Poland have been reallocated following a positive test for a controlled medication in Germany’s silver medal winning team.

German team member Julia Krajewski’s horse Samourai du Thot tested positive to Firocoxib, a controlled medication* (not a banned substance) under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs).

Controlled Medication substances are those that are regularly used to treat horses, but which must have been cleared from the horse’s system by the time of competition.

Krajewski was given the option of accepting an Administrative Sanction or requesting a hearing before the FEI Tribunal. Following testing of the B sample, which also proved positive for Firocoxib, she chose the Administrative Sanction, but not before exhausting all possible avenues to clear her name, according to a statement on her Facebook page.

Explained the German rider (paragraph breaks added for clarity):

“I am grateful to have been offered support and advice by two experienced experts from UK, one a specialist solicitor, and the other a toxicologist. We have reconstructed the complete routine around Sam from August, 3rd to August, 20th, to get a total review of training, feed and nutritional additions, his whereabouts and the persons present or in charge of him at any time. We had all feed in question tested for Firocoxib, with negative results.

The course of events in my team and in the stable during the Championship have been investigated, the blood samples we could get hold of further analyzed, without revealing any helpful insights. I questioned our hosts at the training camp and the FEI steward in charge of the stables at Strzegom.

For the sake of completeness, we requested the night access lists, in which everyone who enters the stable area after 10 p.m. has to sign in. There might have been interesting information in them, but the Steward was not able to provide them any more. As the boundary fence around the stable area was not completely closed, it had been no problem to enter this area unnoticed without passing the official stable entrance, thus they would probably not have been too helpful anyway.

To rule out mistakes of our team, the vet bills of all my horses during previous years have been checked. Equioxx or Previcox, the only medicaments which contain Firocoxib, have never been prescribed or obtained. A contamination through urine (of man or dog) can meanwhile be out ruled.

The investigations confirmed the conviction, that the substance can only have been absorbed through the pharmaceuticals Previcox or Equioxx at any one time between the Dressage and Cross Country test at the European Championships.

The results of these extensive investigations allow me to rule out with certainty a mistake in my own stable management. Neither me nor any person from my team or surroundings have, knowingly or unintentionally, administered one of these medicaments to Sam.”

The evidence she collected, writes Krajewski, “was not sufficient to advocate an application to the FEI Tribunal. Consequently, I will accept the administrative sanction.”

While the case is closed for the FEI, Krajewski maintains it is not for her.

Continued the world #17 ranked rider:

“I will have to ponder the consequences this incident implicates for my future. Not to know what really happened to Sam, will remain a constant worry to me. The wellbeing of my horses is always my first priority, and I will take every possible measure to make sure that something like that can never happen again. I will make use of the next months to design the best possible security for my horses both at home and at competitions.”

Click on the Facebook post to read her statement in its entirety.

Krajewski and Samourai du Thot posted 36.3 penalties in dressage, 23.6 penalties in cross country and a double clear in show jumping at the European Eventing Championships. Accepting Administrative Sanction means automatic disqualification of their scores, a fine of 1,500 CHF and costs of 2,000 CHF to include testing of the B sample, but no suspension.

As a result of her disqualification, the German team drops to 10th in the overall rankings from Strzegom. Sweden has been promoted to team silver in their place and the bronze medal has been reallocated to the Italians. Great Britain, which took team gold, is unaffected by the redistribution of the medals.