Environmental contamination with an antidepressant was behind minute traces of the drug being found in an endurance horse at a Canadian ride.
The FEI Tribunal found that the United States-registered rider Nicki Meuten bore no fault or negligence for the drug being in her horse’s system during a CSI3* 160km ride at Coates Creek, Canada, on July 2 last year.
Meuten competed on FYF Dutch in the race.
Her mount was selected for drug testing and FYF Dutch was positive for O-Desmethyl Venlafaxine, an anti-depressant used for treating depression and anxiety. It is classified as a banned substance under the FEI’s anti-doping rules.
Meuten was told of the positive test on October 16 last year, with provisional suspensions imposed on the horse and rider.
On May 18 this year, a preliminary hearing panel decided to lift Meuten’s suspension after considering written submissions and documents from her which indicated inadvertent environmental contamination as the likely source.
The FEI had first checked with an external expert, Professor Stuart Paine, who found that Meuten’s explanations were plausible for the positive drug finding.
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