China Loses Team Eventing Place at Paris Olympics Because Horse Found with a ‘Controlled Medication’

AP Photo/Francois Mori, file
The logo of the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee, is pictured at the headquarters in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Thursday, Oct.14, 2021.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — China has lost its place in team eventing at next year’s Paris Olympics because the horse of a three-time Olympian was found to have a “controlled medication” in its system.

Japan will replace China for the equestrian competition at the Palace of Versailles.

The International Equestrian Federation said Wednesday the Chinese team lost an Olympic qualification place at a competition in Ireland in June because a controlled substance was detected in the horse ridden by Alex Hua Tian.

China had finished second to Australia to secure an entry in the 16-nation team eventing lineup at the Olympics. Japan, which placed third in Ireland, rose to second when Hua Tian’s result was removed.

“As this was an administrative procedure for a controlled medication violation, no suspension was imposed on Hua Tian,” the FEI said in a statement.

The 33-year-old rider, who was ordered to pay 3,500 Swiss francs ($3,875) in fines and costs by the FEI, can still try to qualify on rankings for individual eventing in Paris. Equestrian events in Versailles will be held from July 27-Aug. 6.

The London-born Hua Tian represented China at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. In Tokyo, China placed ninth and Japan 11th in team eventing.

Hua Tian went on to win individual and team gold in eventing on a different horse at the Asian Games, which finished last week in Hangzhou, China.