Aussie Olympic team rocked by cocaine scandal

Australian equestrian rider Jamie Kermond has been suspended from the Tokyo Olympics over a positive test for cocaine.

Kermond, a show jumper who was meant to be making his Olympic debut, returned a positive A-sample for a cocaine metabolite.

Equestrian Australia confirmed the news in a statement. The test that came back positive was taken nearly a month ago.

“Equestrian Australia has provisionally suspended jumping athlete Jamie Kermond under the Australian National Anti-Doping Policy 2021,” the statement said.

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“The mandatory provisional suspension notice asserts Mr Kermond returned a positive A-sample for a metabolite of cocaine following a test conducted by Sport Integrity Australia on 26 June 2021.

“Cocaine is prohibited in-competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Australian National Anti-Doping Policy 2021.

“Mr Kermond is prohibited from competing in any WADA compliant event, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, while the provisional suspension is in place.

“Under the Anti-Doping Policy, Mr Kermond now has the opportunity to have his B-sample analysed.

“Equestrian Australia has spoken with Mr Kermond and support services will be offered to him.”

Kermond was not yet in Tokyo, though his horse – Napa – had made the journey to Japan. He was informed of his positive test on Tuesday.

The Australian Olympic Committee also issued a statement, reading: “The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has been made aware of the provisional suspension of equestrian athlete Jamie Kermond after being informed by Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) as an interested party.

“The Australian Olympic Team Selection Committee will consider the matter later today.”

Kermond, a 36-year-old Sydney-based Victorian, has represented Australia since 2006 and is a former national champion.

He was a controversial selection for the OIympics, with suggestions that he was favoured due to his sponsorship ties with a national selector, Stephen Lamb.

Australia’s highest-ranked show jumper, world No.59 Rowan Willis, was overlooked for the Olympic team in favour of Edwina Tops-Alexander (ranked 311th), Katie Laurie (469th) and Kermond (1013th).

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