Hansen to appeal Beijing Games disqualification

January 21, 2009

Norwegian rider Tony Andre Hansen has lodged an appeal against an International Equestrian Federation (FEI) decision that stripped his country of an Olympic team showjumping bronze and banned him for four and a half months.

The FEI handed down its decision on December 22 after Hansen's horse returned a positive test for the banned substance capsaicin in Hong Kong, where the Beijing Olympic equestrian events were being staged.


Tony Andre Hansen and Camiro in Hong Kong. © Kit Houghton/FEI
Hansen has lodged his appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The decision by an FEI tribunal to disqualify Hansen from the Olympics meant a recalculation of the results of the Norwegian jumping team without the results of Hansen and his mount, Camiro. Hansen had been the best performer in the four-strong Norwegian team and the country lost its bronze medal.

The Swiss team instead took the bronze.

Hansen is seeking an annulment of the FEI decision.

The court is expected to issue directions on how the arbitration will proceed.

As a general rule, the CAS delivers its decision within four months from the filing of the appeal.

Capsaicin is a chilli derivative which is banned. It has pain-relieving properties but is also known to be applied as a paste or lotion to make a horse's forelegs more sensitive in a bid to encourage a horse to lift its legs higher to avoid knocking jumps.

In all, six horses tested positive for banned substances during the Games - four for capsaicin, one for the pain-relieving medication nonivamide and one for flebinac, an anti-inflammatory medication.

Nine athletes in other disciplines were also disqualified.