Sports field chooses not to return to Canadian show jumping team for Olympics
The world’s largest athletic field determined that Canadian rider Nicole Walker inadvertently ingested a cocaine metabolite while drinking South American tea, but did not re-join the Canadian team for the Tokyo Olympics this year. summer.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday released its reasoning behind an earlier decision to dismiss an appeal by Walker and Equestrian Canada.
Walker, of Aurora, Ont., Was deprived of her 2019 Pan Am Games results in Lima, Peru, after testing positive for benzoylecgonine on the day of the team final.
Canada fell from fourth to seventh in the team event, and out of last qualifying place for Tokyo.
Canada can send only one horse and rider for individual competition at the Olympic Games.
The CAS accepted Walker’s claim that the tea bag she had for breakfast at the hotel on the morning of the team final contained the metabolite of cocaine.
Although coca and coca leaves are illegal in Canada under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, coca tea is legal and consumed in several countries in South America.
WATCH | The tea to blame for the positive screening test of the Canadian rider?
Coca tea is considered a remedy for altitude sickness in Peru.
“I am very happy that the CAS has accepted what I have said to be factually and scientifically correct,” Walker said in a statement Tuesday. “I take my health, my competitions and my duty as a team athlete very seriously.
“While I appreciate the personal justification, it is not as important to me as the ability of the team to compete.”
The team ‘won the right to be in Tokyo’
While the CAS panel said in its ruling that it was convinced Walker’s violation “was not caused by the deliberate ingestion of cocaine,” the body also determined that she and other competitors were contractually bound by the anti-doping rules of Pan American sports, and the CAS had no reason to ignore them.
“It is very unfair that my teammates are not allowed to compete in the Olympics when the truth has been accepted,” Walker said. “Team Canada competed fairly and earned the right to be in Tokyo.”
A possible Canadian medal in team show jumping in Tokyo is no longer here for the best riders in the country.
Equestrian Canada and Walker’s attorney, however, indicated that they could not give up the fight.
“Canada won in a fair and equitable way. It is wrong that Canada came out of the Olympics and be replaced by Argentina,” lawyer Tim Danson said in a statement.
“There is an appeal to the Swiss Federal Court in Lausanne. The grounds for appeal are very limited. We are looking at this very seriously.”
Appeal to Swiss court possible
Equestrian Canada has published a shortlist of candidates to compete in the individual event in Tokyo: 2008 Olympic champion Eric Lamaze of Montreal; Amy Millar from Perth, Ont .; Tiffany Foster of North Vancouver, British Columbia; Mario Deslauriers of New York and Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, Ont.
“EC has supported Nicole throughout the disciplinary and appeal proceedings and together we will explore the possibility of appealing the CAS decision to the Swiss Federal Court in Lausanne,” the organization said in a statement.
Lamaze, Ian Millar, Jill Henselwood and Mac Cone won a silver medal in Beijing in 2008.
Walker is the daughter of Belinda Stronach, president and chairman of the Stronach Group and former Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2008.
Walker told CAS she was out of the green tea bags she had brought from Canada to Lima.
She thought she had chosen green tea from the hotel’s breakfast service and did not understand the “matte de coca” labeling because she did not speak Spanish.