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Last Updated: Friday, 8 April, 2005, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
O'Connor rules out medal appeal
Dublin-born Cian O'Connor
O'Connor was Ireland's only medal winner at the Athens Olympics
Irish showjumper Cian O'Connor will not challenge the decision to strip him of the Olympic gold he won in Athens.

O'Connor lost his gold medal earlier this month when the International Equestrian Federation ruled that his horse had failed a drugs test.

"In the best interests of the sport and to avoid further controversy, I have decided to accept the FEI decision," said O'Connor.

Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil is now elevated to the gold medal position.

Chris Kappler of the United States is promoted to silver while Marco Kutscher of Germany gets the bronze.

The sport's governing body disqualified O'Connor from the 2004 Olympics and handed him a three-month ban after finding that the presence of human drugs in his horse, Waterford Crystal, constituted a breach of regulations.

The FEI's judicial committee ruled, however, that he had not been involved in a deliberate attempt to affect the performance of the horse.

"The overall process I have engaged in to date was essentially about clearing my good name and thankfully this has been achieved," O'Connor said. "

"Obviously the loss of a gold medal is a major disappointment for me personally and indeed for the people of Ireland."

The president of the Equestrian Federation of Ireland Avril Doyle said she was "glad we can draw a line under this sorry episode".

"He can take three months out and we can all look forward to the future," said Ms Doyle, who said that O'Connor would be eligible to represent Ireland after the completion of his ban.

O'Connor maintains his innocence
28 Mar 05 |  Other Sport
O'Connor must return Athens gold
27 Mar 05 |  Equestrian

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