Swiss get bronze two years after Olympics

December 13, 2010

Switzerland's showjumping team has finally been awarded its Olympic bronze medal, which it gained after a Norwegian team member was disqualified.


The Swiss Olympic jumping team team, from left, Niklaus Schurtenberger, Christina Liebherr, Steve Guerdat, and Pius Schwizer, received their bronze medals on Saturday night. © Kit Houghton/FEI
The team of Steve Guerdat, Christina Liebherr, Niklaus Schurtenberger and Pius Schwizer were presented with their medals at the Geneva Horse Show on Saturday night.

Norway, original winners of team bronze in Hong Kong, were stripped of the medal as a result of the legal procedure which followed team member Tony Andre Hansen's disqualification when his horse Camiro tested positive for the prohibited substance Capsaicin. The procedure began on 21 August 2008 and was completed on 30 July 2010.

The change in medal placings was finally ratified at the end of July after Switzerland's Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Hansen against his disqualification. Hansen was provisionally suspended on August 21, 2008, and the FEI Tribunal issued its final decision on December 22, 2008. Hansen was suspended for four and a half months (135 days), from August 21, 2008, to January 2, 2009. Hansen then appealed the FEI Tribunal decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), based in Lausanne, Switzerland. On December 4, 2009, CAS dismissed the appeal and upheld the final decision of the FEI Tribunal.

The Swiss team's medals were presented by Patrick Baumann, IOC member in Switzerland and member of the IOC Executive Board. Other officials involved in the ceremony were John P. Roche, representing the FEI, Isabelle Roch-Pentucci, member of the Swiss Olympic Executive Council, Werner Augsburger, Swiss chef de mission at the 2008 Olympic Games, and Charles Trolliet, president of the Swiss Federation for Equestrian Sport.