Australian Olympic jumper suspended after testing positive for cocaine | Tokyo Olympics 2020
Controversy hit the Australian Olympic team on the first day of sports action in Tokyo, with a remorseful Jamie Kermond throwing the team off after the show jumper tested positive for a cocaine metabolite .
Australia’s chef de mission to the 2020 Games, Ian Chesterman, confirmed on Wednesday that Kermond’s membership in the team had been terminated after bringing the sport into disrepute.
Equestrian Australia reported on Wednesday morning that a Sample A test carried out by Sport Integrity Australia on June 26 this year gave an unfavorable result.
Kermond, a three-time Australian champion, has been provisionally suspended by Equestrian Australia and barred from all competition, including the Olympics.
“It is likely that the positive result was from a single recreational use of the drug at a social event and was unrelated to my equestrian sport,” Kermond said in a statement.
“I am extremely upset and remorseful about what happened and I accept full responsibility. I’m so sorry because I let down a lot of people including my family and teammates.
“I hope that one day I can be forgiven for my mistake [and make] improves through better actions and continued contribution to the sport I know and love.
Cocaine is a substance prohibited in competition under the code of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Under Australian anti-doping policy, Kermond can request that his B sample be analyzed.
The 36-year-old Victorian was scheduled to make his Olympic debut in Tokyo on Yandoo Oaks Constellation after helping secure Australia’s team quota at the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
A spokesperson for the Australian Olympic Committee confirmed he had been made aware of the provisional suspension, while Equestrian Australia said they spoke with Kermond and offered him support services.
Kermond, who competes on the lucrative European circuit, was part of a contingent of nine Australian equestrian athletes selected for Tokyo.
The team and individual show jumping events are not scheduled until the second week of the Games.
All three of the team’s jumpers made it to Japan unreservedly after Rowan Willis, the country’s top-ranked jumper, retired.
With Kermond now suspended and Willis not in Tokyo, the AOC will now be forced to explore its options for affected athletes.