Andrea Torres Guerreiro, daughter of Colombian show jumping Olympian Manuel Torres, has accepted a reduced suspension of 20 months for a banned anabolic steroids offence after the FEI decided leniency was warranted.
The basic tariff for banned substance positives is two years ineligibility, but the FEI Tribunal agreed to a reduction of four months after the rider co-operated fully in proceedings and agreed to “engage actively” in anti-doping education. This will include being a featured testimonee at FEI education outreach events, especially the USA and Colombia.
Her horse Fifty Shades tested positive t Boldenone and Boldenone Sulfate at the CSI4* in Tryon, North Carolina in June 2018, where Torres Guerreiro, 37, of Santa Catalina Farms in Virginia, had been aiming to qualify for the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
Torres Guerreiro explained the source was Ganabol, a treatment informally recommended for Fifty Shades’ kissing spine condition. Her father, while giving a clinic in Honduras, had discussed it with an old veterinary friend who had treated many race horses for kissing spine. Horses tended to lose muscle on their backs, creating soreness.
She injected off-the-counter Ganabol herself at the end of March 2018, without consulting her regular FEI vet. It was a “truly honest mistake,” she said, adding: “I want you to be assured that I have stable procedures and policies to make sure that the anti-doping rules are followed and to avoid my horses coming into contact with prohibited substances. I have always relied primarily on veterinarians to administer any necessary medication to our horses and since my violation I recognize that there can be no exceptions to this rule.
“Further, I routinely check the Equine Prohibited Substances List on my app and I keep a medication logbook for all my horses. Since my violation, I have taken several anti-doping medication trainings to educate myself and have spent several hours learning about the resources on anti-doping that the FEI has readily available.”
The Tribunal noted that anabolic steroids can stay in a horse’s system for several months. It was plausible that the injection in March caused the positive finding in June.
The rider was “highly at fault” for not checking the contents of Ganabol, easily found with an internet search. The violation was not prevented by usual stable procedures because she was “misled by the fact that the product was recommended by a veterinarian her father held in high esteem.”
She injected the Ganabol herself, despite not being a veterinarian.
However, Tribunal showed leniency because “the PR admitted the violation promptly and has been very cooperative throughout the whole process, and the FEI highly appreciate such attitude.”
The suspension was credited against time served by the rider’s provisional suspension and so expires on February 8th. She was also fined 3,000 Swiss francs.