Court doubles suspension of German showjumper

April 3, 2009


Christian Ahlmann and Coster. © Annica Feltendal

The world's top sports court has doubled the suspension imposed on German showjumper Christian Ahlmann, whose mount tested positive for a banned substance at the Beijing Olympics.

The Switzerland-based court heard two appeals in respect of the four-month suspension handed down against Ahlmann by a tribunal of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

The FEI tribunal considered that Ahlmann had committed a medication rule violation.

Ahlmann went to the court in Lausanne seeking to have the suspension reduced to three months. However, the German Equestrian Federation requested that the offence committed by the athlete be qualified as a doping infraction and that the period of ineligibility be extended to eight months.

In its decision, the court upheld the appeal by the German Equestrian Federation and dismissed the appeal by Ahlmann.

"Accordingly, Christian Ahlmann is declared ineligible for a period of eight months starting on 21 August 2008 and ending on 20 April 2009.

"All results obtained by Mr Ahlmann during such period of ineligibility are invalidated, with forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes," the court ruled.

The reasons for the decision will be notified to the parties in about four weeks and will be published soon after.

The breach relates to the substance capsaicin. After the team jumping final in Beijing on August 17 last year, Ahlmann's horse, Coster, was selected for doping tests.

Analyses of blood and urine samples showed the presence capsaicin. The B sample analysis confirmed the result. On August 21 the FEI provisionally suspended the athlete pending the resolution of the disciplinary procedure.