Paget hearing into alleged horse doping ends

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 07:21 05/06/2014
Jock Paget and Clifton Promise
Getty

UNDER SCRUTINY: Jock Paget has had to prove a "no fault, no negligence" claim in a FEI tribunal hearing into his alleged doping of [pictured] champion horse Clifton Promise.

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New Zealand three-day eventing equestrian star Jock Paget faces an indefinite wait before learning when he'll be able to ride competitively again after a tribunal hearing into a horse doping scandal concluded overnight.

The 14-hour hearing, held over two days in London, examined the actions of Paget and Australian Kevin McNab in September last year after their horses were found with a banned sedative in their systems at the four-star Burghley Horse Trials.

Paget has been banned from competing since and his best possible outcome from the hearing was that the tribunal impose no further ban. History suggested he could have to wait up to six weeks for a decision.

Paget could not comment on the world equestrian federation (FEI) hearing, but told assembled media in London overnight: "It is good to finally get to this day, I have been waiting a long time."

The scandal began at Burghley when drug testing revealed Paget and McNab's horses were found with the banned sedative reserpine in their systems. The horses shared the same stable.

Under equestrian rules riders were responsible for their horses and so Paget and McNab were banned from the sport.

Paget has maintained that all available evidence showed neither he nor anyone else knew of the presence of resperine in his champion horse Clifton Promise, before the sample was taken.

In January, he submitted a dossier of evidence explaining and supporting his claim of "no fault and no negligence".

The onus was on Paget to prove a "no fault, no negligence" claim to the tribunal.

Paget was hoping for a decision as soon as possible, given a good outcome for him in a timely manner would see him become available for selection to the New Zealand team for the World Equestrian Games in France in August.

Paget has already been stripped of his Burghley title, which happened at a partial hearing last month.

After the B-sample returned a positive test, the Burghley title was always going to pass to the runner-up on the day, compatriot Andrew Nicholson.

He also missed the defence of his Badminton title last month.

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