Equestrian Hansen faces hearing to keep Olympic jumping medals

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GENEVA (AP) -- Tony Andre Hansen will fight to keep the Norwegian jumping team's Olympic bronze medals Saturday when he answers charges that his horse was doped.

Hansen faces an International Equestrian Federation tribunal for the second time to examine why Camiro tested positive for a banned pain reliever after the team jumping competition in August. He was suspended and did not compete in the individual jumping class.

"The only problem is that we don't know where the substance came from," Hansen said in Norway's Sandefjords Blad newspaper Thursday. "We still think it could be from pollution. But how Camiro got that pollution in him is impossible to say."

The federation panel must decide whether to disqualify Hansen and Camiro from the Beijing Games.

Hansen was the best performer on a four-rider Norwegian team that won the bronze under a scoring system where the top three count.

Without his scores, teammates Morten Djupvik, Stein Endresen and Geir Gulliksen would drop out of contention, and the fourth-place team from Switzerland would get the bronze medals. The United States won the gold, beating Canada in a jump-off in Hong Kong, where Olympic equestrian events were held.

Hansen faced a six-hour hearing in September. His horse tested positive for capsaicin, a banned medication derived from chili peppers. It can be classed as a doping substance if used to inflame a horse's legs, encouraging the horse to jump higher to avoid striking an obstacle.

This is the sixth and final drug case from the Olympic equestrian events.

Three riders were disqualified and suspended in cases involving capsaicin: Germany's Christian Ahlmann was banned for four months, Brazil's Bernardo Alves for 31/2 months and Irish rider Denis Lynch got a three-month ban.

Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa, the individual jumping gold medalist in 2004, was disqualified and banned for 41/2 months after his horse tested positive for a banned pain reliever.

Courtney King of the U.S. was disqualified and banned one month because her horse, Mythilus, tested positive for a banned anti-inflammatory medication.


Associated Press writer Doug Mellgren in Oslo, Norway, contributed to this report.