Irish Republican News · November 2, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Bizarre twist in Olympic scandal

A break-in at the headquarters of of the Equestrian Federation of Ireland has followed the reported theft of part of a dope test of the horse ridden to an Olympic gold medal by Ireland’s only Athens medallist, Cian O’Connor.

Mrs Avril Doyle, President of the EFI, said that last night’s break in at the body’s offices was “sinister”.

Yesterday, a major controversy developed over the disappearance of the B sample -- the second confirmatory test on Waterford Crystal, O’Connor’s horse in the Olympic games in Athens. Last month, it was announced Waterford Crystal had failed an initial dope test, prompting O’Connor to request the B sample be tested.

The urine sample wnet missing when it was en route to the Horseracing Forensic Laboratory (HFL) in Newmarket.

The sample had been sent by courier from the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) central testing laboratory in Paris to the HFL for confirmatory analysis. It went missing on on October 21st and is now described as “stolen”.

Yesterday, Mrs Doyle demanded answers from the FEI over the disappearance of the sample.

Mr Eddie Macken, the former trainer of the Olympic team, joined other leading equestrian figures in calling for an inquiry. “It sounds very, very strange. I really think the only way to get to the bottom of this is there has to be an inquiry into this right from the top level,” the renowned showjumper said.

“All everybody wants to know is the truth, everybody’s name to be cleared and I am sure that Cian O’Connor would like this very much as well.”

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© 2004 Irish Republican News