The Fédération Equestre Internationale has reallocated one of the three Tokyo 2020 Olympic team quota slots for jumping from the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, in August following an adverse analytical finding in a member of the Canadian team, which finished fourth.
Nicole Walker, who also finished fourth in the individual final with Falco Van Spieveld, was provisionally suspended by the FEI on Nov. 11 after testing positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, which is a prohibited substance under the FEI’s Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes. The sample was taken on Aug. 7, the day of the team final in Lima.
Following analysis of the B sample, which confirmed the presence of benzoylecgonine, the athlete requested a hearing before the Panam Sports Disciplinary Commission, which took place on Dec. 4, and which the FEI joined via teleconference as an observer to the proceedings.
The commission decided that Article 11.2.2* of the FEI ADRHA, which states: “The athlete’s results will be subtracted from the team result, to be replaced with the results of the next applicable team member” applies in this case.
Walker’s results from both the team and individual competitions at the Pan American Games were disqualified, and her results in the team competitions on Aug. 6 and 7 were replaced by those of the fourth Canadian team member, Lisa Carlsen. The commission ordered that Panam Sports recalculate the team results accordingly.
That meant Canada dropped to seventh on a score of 84.07 and lost its team quota place for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Argentina, which originally finished fifth in Lima on 62.19, has now been promoted to fourth place and received an Olympic team berth.
The reallocation means that the 20 nations that have qualified jumping teams for Tokyo are: Japan, USA, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Britain, France, Ukraine, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Egypt, Qatar, New Zealand, China and Ireland.
There were also four individual Olympic quota slots on offer in Lima, one of which was earned by Argentina. Now that Argentina has obtained a team quota place, Canada will take one of the individual slots. Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Chile earned the other individual places.
Walker, meanwhile, will bring an appeal forward to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“I am confident that Team Canada and Nicole will receive a fair hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” said Tim Danson, Nicole’s lawyer.