By Nick Butler

Olympic bronze medallist Jonathan Paget has had his suspension lifted following the completion of the inquiry ©Getty ImagesNew Zealand's Jock Paget has been officially cleared of any wrongdoing following his horse Clifton Promise failing a doping test last year, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has announced today.

Paget, part of the New Zealand three day evening team that won an Olympic bronze medal at London 2012, has already been stripped of the Burghley Horse Trials title he won on Clifton Promise in 2013, with victory instead going to compatriot Andrew Nicholson.

This came after the horse tested positive for the banned substance Reserpine, a derivative of the Indian snakeroot plant and a well-known herbal remedy, after the competition.

But following a tribunal hearing in London, the governing bodyclaimed they were "satisfied on a balance of probabilities, that the PR [person responsible, Paget] has demonstrated that he bore no fault or negligence for the EAD (Equine Anti-Doping) Rule violation".

They added he was clear to return to competitive action pending the release of the full and final FEI Tribunal ruling, a process that has now been completed today. 

The final ruling confirmed that the positive finding came as the result of contamination of an equine supplement during its manufacture, for which Paget bore no responsibility.

It highlighted that Clifton Promise had tested clean on four previous occasions dating back to 2010 when using the same supplement, including at Badminton in May 2013, before reiterating that the 30-year-old will not suffer any further sanctions. 

Jock Paget is now free to compete at the World Equestrian Games ©Getty ImagesJock Paget is now free to compete at the World Equestrian Games ©Getty Images

Paget will now compete at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy due to start on August 23, where he will join Nicholson, Sir Mark Todd and Tim Price in a New Zealand squad aiming to improve upon their third place finish at Kentucky 2010.

Paget will however, remain stripped of the Burghley Horse Trials title. 

"I feel as though I had my career stripped from me and now someone has said 'hang on, you can have it back'," said Paget following the decision being announced.

"It is complete relief, I didn't know if I would be cleared, despite knowing I had done nothing wrong.

"I knew it wouldn't be as easy as turning around and saying 'I didn't do it'.

"I was fortunate that we were able to find the source of the contamination, trace it and prove it, and - most importantly - that I wasn't responsible nor could have known."

Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) President Chris Hodson was similarly pleased, adding: "It is very important to the reputation of equestrian and New Zealand sport that no athlete should be knowingly involved in any act of doping.

"That Jock Paget has proved his innocence, which requires a very high standard which has only been achieved in one previous case, is intensely satisfying, and fully justifies the support which ESNZ has given him throughout."

Meanwhile, in a similar case, Australia's Kevin McNab has also had his suspension lifted by the FEI Tribunal.

His horse, Clifton Pinot, tested positive for Reserpine at the same time as Clifton Promise, at Burghley last year.