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Four team jumping horses test positive for capsaicin

8/21/2008 - Olympic Sports

HONG KONG -- Four horses in the Olympic equestrian team jumping competition, including one from Norway's bronze-medal team, have been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned pain reliever.

The drug test results -- positive for capsaicin in each case -- were announced Thursday afternoon by the sport's international governing body.

The horse Camiro, ridden by Tony Andre Hansen, was part of Norway's bronze-medal team, and the team could lose its medal. The other three horses are Ireland's Lantinus, ridden by Dennis Lynch; Brazil's Chupa Chup, ridden by Bernardo Alves; and Germany's Coster, ridden by Christian Ahlmann.

Hansen, Lynch and Alves will not be allowed to ride in Thursday night's individual competition. Ahlmann wasn't entered in the event.

A second blood sample for each horse will be tested in an "accelerated procedure," in the next two days, said FEI secretary general Alexander McLin.

Capsaicin, a derivative of chili peppers, is prohibited for its pain-relieving properties.

"I can't tell how it was applied," Paul Farrington of the FEI's veterinary commission said. "It's usually in a topical lotion or a paste. It's not administered by mouth."

He said 15 of 49 horses in the competition were randomly chosen for testing, including one from each team that won medals.\