Samourai du Thot tests positive after European Championships

      Julia Krajewski and Samourai Du Thot at the FEI European Championships in Strzegom


The silver medal winning German team at the FEI European Eventing team in Strzegom is in danger of losing its medals and team member Julia Krajewski is facing her ‘most difficult time in my career as a horse rider and athlete’

In a very surprising turn of events, it appears that Julia’s horse Samourai Du Thot (Sam) returned a positive result from testing on Sunday August 20th at Strzegom and she now awaits the result of the B test. The substance that has been found is Firocoxib, FEI-classified as a “controlled medication substance”, not a doping drug

Julia confirms that ‘the same substance has also been detected in a sample taken from Sam in the course of a routine testing carried out by NADA (German National Doping Agency) on August, 23rd, we expect the result of the B-Sample to confirm the first find’

‘I and my team have no explanation about how this substance has got into my horse, and believe that it was not administered by any fault of our own. Nevertheless, the positive result would mean disqualification for me, and lead to the subsequent loss of the hard-won silver medal for the German team. I am devastated to be (even unintentionally) the cause of such a bad blow for our great team, which has fought so hard for this success! That I have no idea how, when and why this substance got into Sam’s body, worries me deeply and is a big mystery to all of us’

 Julia’s shock is understandable; the German team was undoubtedly favourite to win a medal at the Championships and the DOKR routinely tests all horses which are nominated to travel to international Championships to compete for the German team, to ensure that they are free from prohibited substances.

‘As a member of the German team, which has been one of the favourites travelling to Strzegom, I was very well aware that it was highly probable that my horse would be subject to medication control. I firmly agree with the doping prevention rules and know about my obligations and responsibilities as a rider and the inevitable consequences. I would never, ever put a potential medal at risk by such a grossly negligent act as to administer a drug during a championship (let alone the one with the longest waiting period on the market) and I hope, that everybody else understands the absurdity of the idea that I could have done that on purpose’ says Julia

Julia has outlined in her statement on her Facebook page what her team has discovered so far about the substance

‘Firocoxib (which has an analgesic and inflammatory effect) is present solely in two pharmaceuticals- Equioxx for horses and Previcox for dogs. Equioxx has never been used in my stables, neither for my own nor for other horses. My attending veterinarian at home does not use it for my horses. Also our team veterinarian, Carsten Rohde, has confirmed that he does not use the medicament for squad horses, and did not take any of it to the training camp or the Championships in Poland. Furthermore, at no time during the training camp or the Championships, any reason occurred to treat Samurai du Thot with a pain-reliever. We have questioned various veterinarians, who concordantly replied that Equioxx is a rather uncommon medicament for sport horses because it can be detected for a very long time. According to the ADMR-(Anti Doping and Medication Control Rules), it has a waiting period of 30 days. Thus a positive medication control is to be expected if the medicine is given at short notice – an absolute “no go” for a team rider.

Two pieces of information make it now possible to limit the period when the substance must have been ingested by Sam: The first one is, that a pre-probe taken on August, 3rd proved negative. The DOKR routinely tests all horses which are nominated to travel to international Championships to compete for the German team, to ensure that they are free from prohibited substances.
Furthermore, there was not just a trace, but a substantial amount of Firocoxib detected. The detected level together with the relevant decomposition time suggest an administration between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning (after dressage, before cross country test). Together with the result of sample B, we hopefully receive documents that may hopefully allow further conclusions about the exact time or amount of the ingestion. Unfortunately, there is no video camera survey in the stables in Strzegom, thus we cannot fall back on video analysis, but have to rely on medical data.

Other options have been investigated, too: As a prescription medicine, Firocoxib is not used in the production of feed supplement for any type of cattle, it is not naturally present in grass or herbage, thus an accidental contamination through feeding can be eliminated. To be absolutely sure, Sam has been tested again a short time ago, the result was negative. As we have never used or even handled Equioxx, it was not present in our equipment or environment, thus an administration to Sam by oversight (e.g. confusion with dewormer, vitamin doser) is not possible. One source of accidental contamination may be the dog medicament Previcox: It contains a much higher dosage than Equioxx. We are currently investigating the possibility of a causality of dogs and the positive result of Sam’s test’

‘I promise to keep you posted about everything we might find out, but at the moment I and my team are just clueless and shocked that something like that could happen to us’


Events - FEI Championships: