Canada’s show jumping team dropped from Tokyo 2020 for doping violation

Canada’s show jumping team has been expelled from next summer’s Tokyo Olympics because of a doping violation.

Nicole Walker of Aurora, Ont., is appealing the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, saying she inadvertently ingested a cocaine metabolite by drinking coca tea during last summer’s Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

“The team deserves to go to the Olympics,” Walker said Tuesday in a statement. “My priority right now is to continue to fight for the Canadian equestrian team.”

The 26-year-old placed fourth in the individual event.

She then helped Canada qualify for the 2020 Olympics with another fourth in the team event alongside Eryn Ballard, Lisa Carlsen and Mario Deslauriers.

The Pan Am Games was Canada’s last chance to qualify for Tokyo.

The team had to finish in the top four to be among the 20 countries competing for Olympic team gold in 2020.

Walker tested positive for Benzoylecgonine in a sample taken the day of the team final Aug. 7 in Lima.

She had a hearing Dec. 4 with the Pan Am Sports disciplinary commission, which disqualified her scores in the individual and team events, the international governing body of equestrian (FEI) said in a statement.

In team show jumping, the lowest score among four riders is dropped from the team total. Walker’s disqualified scores were replaced by Carlsen’s.

Canada tumbled from fourth to seventh. Argentina moved up from fifth to claim the last Olympic berth.

“There is no basis in fact or law to disqualify Canada from the 2020 Olympics,” Walker’s lawyer Tim Danson said in a statement.

“Canada qualified for the Olympics fair and square even if the scores Nicole earned after she drank the coca tea are discounted.”

The coca plant contains alkaloids that can be chemically extracted to concoct cocaine.

While coca and coca leaves are illegal in Canada under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, coca tea is legal and consumed in several South American countries.

Coca tea is considered an altitude sickness remedy in Peru.

If Walker is unsuccessful in her appeal to CAS, Canada can send only one rider to Tokyo to compete in the individual event.

Equestrian Canada is backing Walker’s appeal.

“EC remains firmly committed to clean sport and to standing behind our athletes,” the organization said in a statement.

“We fully support Nicole’s decision to bring an appeal forward to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).”

Walker is the daughter of Belinda Stronach, president and chairman of The Stronach Group and former member of Parliament from 2004 to 2008.

The Canadian team of Yann Candele, Tiffany Foster, Eric Lamaze and Amy Millar lost a jump-off for the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Lamaze, Ian Millar, Jill Henselwood and Mac Cone won a silver medal in 2008.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Teachers condemn government’s actions towards doctors

“That they should be treated with such contempt is deeply disturbing”

Central Alberta centre gets more provincial dollars to deal with rising caseload of abused children

CEO Mark Jones expects to be helping 1,000 abused kids annually by 2024

Crime significantly reduced in Lacombe County subdivision when gate installed

Two-year pilot project at Westside Country Estates prompts county to adopt a gate policy

Security for empty nursing home is pricier than it would have been to knock it down

Provincial taxpayers have now paid more to mothball a former nursing home… Continue reading

Birds move into new wildlife hospital

Medicine River Wildlife Centre to host grand opening this spring

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Spurgeon records hat trick to lead Wild to 5-3 victory over Oilers

Wild 5 Oilers 3 EDMONTON — Jared Spurgeon scored three goals as… Continue reading

Bergeron stays hot with two goals as Bruins topple Flames 4-3

Bruins 4 Flames CALGARY — Patrice Bergeron continued his torrid scoring on… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think there will be funds in the provincial budget for the Red Deer hospital?

Do you think there will be significant funds in Thursday’s provincial budget… Continue reading

Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville claims Tournament of Hearts playoff berth

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Protective of their curl-life balance, Krista McCarville and… Continue reading

Gary Harris’s generosity helped shape our college, and our city, writes Joel Ward

I was deeply saddened to learn of Gary Harris’s passing. I first… Continue reading

A teen’s perspective: Ordinary Canadians are paying a price for railway blockades

The following is a letter by Alberta teenager Liam Smith to his… Continue reading

Bashaw filmmakers capture grasslands’ beauty

Documentary showcases how a unique ecosystem is surviving

Most Read