Uruguayan endurance rider Victoria Goñi has been banned for two years by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Tribunal after her horse tested positive for a banned substance.
The FEI Tribunal imposed a two-year suspension on Goñi after a sample provided by El Mate following a competition in Trinidad in Uruguay in February 2017 was found to have contained ergonovine, a vasoconstrictor used to prevent bleeding.
She has also been fined CHF3,000 (£2,300/$3,000/€2,600) and been forced to pay CHF1,500 (£1,100/$1,500/€1,300) towards the the cost of the judicial procedure.
Goñi, who has been provisionally banned since April 2017 and will not be free to return until April of next year, claimed the horse tested positive due to contamination of oats.
The Uruguayan argued that oats containing ergot fungus, which can infect grain, was responsible for the failed test.
The FEI Tribunal dismissed this, however, claiming the case presented by Goñi was speculation.
She claimed the horse had been fed oats for two months leading up to the event in Trinidad and also presented a statement from the horse's vet Doctor Mirenxu Posada.
According to the Horse Talk website, Posada claimed El Mate had never been given any banned substance intentionally.
The vet added that the horse had not been administered with any medication which may have included ergonovine.
Gonzalo Saralegui, the head vet at the Uruguayan Equestrian Federation, also concluded that the contaminated oats were the only way the substance could have entered El Mate' system.
"However, there was no real connection between these facts and the case at hand; the explanations therefore remained mere speculations,” reads the decision from the Tribunal.
"The FEI was therefore of the opinion that (Goñi) has not clearly established how the substance entered the body of the horse."
Given the claims made by the vets and by the rider, an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport could be submitted by Goñi.