Four horses have been banned from competing in Thursday's Olympic jumping competition for doping, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) announced on Thursday. Denis Lynch’s mount Latinus is one of those banned.
The horses - representing Brazil, Germany, Ireland and Norway - had been suspended after testing positive for a prohibited substance, the FEI, which controls the sport, said in a statement.
The four riders who will not start are Bernardo Alves of Brazil and his horse Chupa Chup; Germany's Christian Ahlmann and his horse Coster; Denis Lynch of Ireland and Latinus; and Norway's Tony Andre Hansen and his horse Camiro.
Lynch was considered to be a real contender for a medal; he and his mount Latinus having qualified with just six faults from their qualifying rounds.
The FEI had no comment on the non-appearance on the list of riders set to compete in the final.
The announcement throws into doubt the medal order of the team jumping competition earlier in the week, in which Norway won a bronze medal, its first ever placing in an Olympics equestrian event.
The United States won the gold and Canada the silver.
In its statement, the FEI said the four horses had been ‘provisionally' suspended by the FEI further to doping/medication control tests that indicated the presence of capsaicin in each horse’.
The statement said: ‘Capsaicin is classified as a 'doping' prohibited substance given its hyper sensitising properties, and as a 'medication class A’ prohibited substance for its pain relieving properties.’
The stunning development casts yet another shadow over equestrian events generally as it follows a medal re-allocation in Athens, also for doping.
It also casts doubt on the future of equestrianism as part of the Olympics.
The doping scandal, which broke just hours before the final of the individual jumping contest, also puts show jumping under the microscope once more.
In Athens 2004, Ireland's Cian O'Connor won an individual showjumping gold medal with his horse Waterford Crystal which was later stripped from him due to drug offences.
A doping scandal cost Germany the team jumping gold in Athens after the horse ridden by Ludger Beerbaum, who is a lynchpin of his country’s team here, was disqualified after testing positive for doping.
World number one, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, was left off the German team for Athens after her horse tested positive, though she was later cleared.