Eventer back in game after B sample tests negative

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Maxime Livio and Qalao des Mers, pictured at Saumur in 2013.
Maxime Livio and Qalao des Mers, pictured at Saumur in 2013.

French eventer Maxime Livio has been cleared to compete again nearly two months after a horse he rode in Thailand returned a positive test for the banned substance Testosterone.

Livio’s borrowed horse Bingo S returned the positive test after a CSI1*-W jumping event in Pattaya, Thailand last November. But confirmatory analysis of the B sample failed to confirm the positive result.

Testosterone, a naturally occurring hormone found in high levels in stallions and considerably reduced levels in geldings and mares, is one of seven threshold substances on the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List. The B sample analysis for Bingo S confirmed the presence of Testosterone, but not within the threshold level applicable for geldings.

Livio, who had been provisionally suspended since the date of notification of the positive on 16 February 2015, was cleared to compete again on April 10. The horse, who was on a two-month suspension due to expire on 15 April, has also been reinstated for competition and the case has been dropped by the FEI.

“It is rare that the B sample doesn’t confirm the A sample, but it proves that our system works and that the checks and balances put in place to protect the athlete function correctly,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender said.

“As with all other sports and as part of an in-built safety mechanism, the athlete has the right to request confirmatory analysis of the B sample. As this has returned a negative result in this instance, the case against Maxime Livio is dropped.”

A separate, earlier case involving Maxime Livio, whose horse Qalao des Mers tested positive for a metabolite of the Controlled Medication substance Acepromazine at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy (FRA) on 29 August, is ongoing.

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