Dope test confirmed positive in Pessoa's horse

September 6, 2008

The B sample of Rufus, ridden by Rodrigo Pessoa at the Olympic Games, has yielded a positive test result for the banned substance nonivamide, confirming the initial positive findings from the A sample.

Nonivamide is part of the capsaicinoid family and is classified as a "doping" prohibited substance given its hypersensitising properties, and as a "medication class A" prohibited substance for its pain relieving properties.


Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa and Rufus.

Rufus is the fourth showjumper to have returned a positive test. A US dressage horse has also tested positive.

The sample was received by the laboratory on Saturday, August 23 following the individual Jumping Final at which Rodrigo Pessoa (Brazil) and Rufus placed fifth. A preliminary hearing was held by teleconference on 28 August before a member of the FEI Tribunal and the suspension was confirmed on 29 August.

The B sample test was conducted on 2 September at the same laboratory.

This process is in accordance with the Accelerated Medication Control Procedure during and after the 2008 Olympic Games which is part of the FEI Regulations for Equestrian Events at the 2008 Olympic Games (Annex G - page 55).

A hearing with a panel of the FEI Tribunal is currently being scheduled and will be announced in due course.

The panel will, in light of all the evidence received, take a decision as to the applicable sanction. The competition results will be amended as indicated in the Tribunal's final decision. Pessoa remains suspended until such a decision is taken.