Irish show jumper banned at Beijing 2008 in new Olympic row after dropped for London 2012
Monday, 09 July 2012
July 9 - Irish show jumper Denis Lynch and his horse Lantinus are at the centre of a new Olympic row four years after testing positive for banned drugs at Beijing when he was tonight dropped from the team for London 2012.
Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) have confirmed their decision not to proceed with the his nomination following the disqualification of Lantinus during the Nations Cup event at Aachen.
Earlier, HSI had asked the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) to put "on hold" his selection for London 2012 after Lantinus was found to be suffering from sore feet and hypersensitive after the Nations Cup at the show last Thursday (July 5) and forced to withdraw from the competition by the Veterinary Commission of the world governing body, the FEI.
Hypersensitivity in horses can occur in natural circumstances, but can also be a reaction to anti-inflammatory drugs.
Lynch has been dropped even though he had been nominated to ride Abbervail van het Dingeshof and not Lantinus.
At the last Olympics, Lynch was prevented from competing in the show jumping at Hong Kong - where the equestrian events were held during Beijing 2008 - after Lantinus was found to have capsaicin, a banned substance, in his system due to the use of a cream similar to deep-heat called Equiblock.
Lynch (pictured) had been using the banned substance for some time but maintained that he did not know it was illegal.
He was suspended by the FEI for three months and fined 3,750 Swiss francs (£1,908).
Patrick Hickey, the President of the OCI, later accused the show-jumping industry of dragging Irish sport "through the mud".
Lynch claimed that he had done nothing wrong on this occasion.
"At no stage, was there any inference that the hypersensitivity was anything other than natural occurring," he said.
"It is very important to state that Lantinus received no further sanction and is free to compete at the next show, should I decide."
HSI had nominated Lynch and Billy Twomey to represent Ireland in show jumping at London 2012 last Tuesday (July 3).
Ireland did not qualify a show jumping team for London but two individual slots were secured by Twomey and Lynch from the Olympic rider rankings.
But under International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules these places are allocated to Ireland and any qualified rider could be selected to fill the place.
One of the favourites to replace him is Cian O'Connor, who won the Olympic gold medal at Athens in 2004 but was stripped of it after his horse Waterford Crystal tested positive for banned drugs.
August 2010: Ireland set to unveil new equestrian anti-doping scheme
May 2010: Hickey confident Ireland will avoid doping scandals at London 2012
March 2009: Horse Sport Ireland overhauling doping procedures after Beijing embarrassment
October 2008: Irish rider banned and fined for Olympic positive drugs test
September 2008: Ireland equestrian body blasted over role in doping scandal