Almost two years after Olympic dressage rider Isabell Werth’s mount El Santo NRW tested positive for cimetidine at the Rhineland Championships in Germany, the case has finally been resolved by the Court of Arbitration of the German Equestrian Federation. Cimetidine, a medication used as an ulcer treatment and preventative, is allowed in Fédération Equestre Internationale competitions but not at German national shows.
Werth must pay all legal fees from the case as well as 2,000 euros to the German Association for Therapeutic Riding. Since the Court of Arbitration considered it a “minor violation,” Werth will not receive the six-month suspension from competition that the German federation has previously assessed her. The court stated that the amount of the medication found in the sample would not have been enough to enhance performance.
“I am very relieved that the issue is through,” Werth told St. Georg. “Of course I would much prefer that it was completed earlier, but as they say, better late than never!”
Werth had previously stated that El Santo came into contact with the medication by sharing a stall wall with Warum Nicht FRH, who was being treated for ulcers at the time. When the power went out in her barn, Werth said the water from Warum Nicht’s automatic waterer was forced into El Santo’s waterer. In her statement to St. Georg, Werth requested harmonization between international and national drug rules to eliminate future confusion.