The Fédération Equestre Internationale announced on Sept. 1 that Brazilian rider Rodrigo Pessoa’s Olympic show jumping mount, Rufus, tested positive for a banned substance following the individual final in Hong Kong, China, on Aug. 23. Pessoa had placed fifth in the individual competition.
Rufus’ A sample showed traces of the banned substance nonivamide, part of the capsaicinoid family and classified as a “doping”-prohibited substance given its hypersensitizing properties, and as a “medication class A”-prohibited substance for its pain-relieving properties.
Four other show jumping horses were eliminated from competition before the individual final on Aug. 21, all having tested positive for capsaicin—Camiro, ridden by Tony Andre Hansen of Norway; Latinus, ridden by Denis Lynch of Ireland; Chupa Chup, ridden by Bernardo Alves of Brazil; and Coster, ridden by Christian Ahlmann of Germany.
Rufus’ B sample test is scheduled for today, Sept. 2, in Hong Kong. If the second test confirms the findings of the first, the FEI’s Accelerated Medication Control Procedure will take effect. Evidence and written submissions will be requested from the rider, and a three-man panel of the FEI Tribunal will be appointed. This panel will decide the applicable sanctions as early as possible and provide for a hearing to be held as necessary. Competition results may be amended after the tribunal’s decision is announced.
All Olympic testing results have been received, and the FEI reported no other infractions in any discipline.