Four team jumping horses test positive for capsaicin

Updated: August 21, 2008, 7:24 AM ET
Associated Press

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.\

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press