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Page last updated at 10:27 GMT, Thursday, 8 May 2008 11:27 UK

Kurten gets two-month suspension

Jessica Kurten
Jessica Kurten has earned Ireland a place in the Olympics

Ireland Olympic medal hopeful Jessica Kurten has been given a two-month ban after her mount Castle Forbes Maike's positive result for a banned substance.

The horse tested positive for etoricoxib during a competition at La Baule in France in May last year.

Kurten denied any knowledge of the drug, refused the chance to accept a fine and appealed the decision.

Her ban will run from 7 June to 6 August, making her available for the showjumping in the Olympics.

But Kurten, from Cullybackey in County Antrim, still has to decide if she will represent Ireland at the Olympics.

Her performances in competition have earned Ireland an individual place in the show jumping, which will take place in Hong Kong.

Etoricoxib is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medical class A drug which is prohibited in competition by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), which classifies it as a medication rather than a doping substance.

Following the original positive A sample, Kurten was given the option of paying a fine of around 300 euros and return her first place 22,000 euros prize-money won at the French Grand Prix.

But Kurten believed paying the fine would be an acceptance of doing something wrong.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) handed out the suspension following an appeal tribunal.

Kurten had to prove the absence of negligence on her part in ensuring that her horse was free from any prohibited substance in the competition - the tribunal found that she had not.

see also
Kurten to challenge positive test
09 Oct 07 |  Equestrian
Kurten tied fourth in Gothenburg
27 Apr 08 |  Equestrian
Equestrian sport on the BBC
05 Sep 07 |  Equestrian

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