Australian Olympic showjumper banned for cocaine use

Sydney (AFP) – A showjumper thrown out of Australia's Tokyo Olympic team after testing positive for cocaine was on Thursday banned for two years.

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Jamie Kermond was about to board the plane to Japan last year when the result was announced, leaving the Australian equestrian team in disarray.

The 36-year-old said at the time the result was likely from taking the drug at a social event and "had no connection with my sport of equestrian".

Equestrian Australia determined that he used cocaine during an in-competition period, between June 24-26, and imposed a two-year ban.

Sport Integrity Australia chief David Sharpe said the case was a stark reminder to all athletes about the risk of illicit drugs.

"Illegal drugs have no place in an athlete's life," he said.

"Their use leaves athletes vulnerable to anti-doping violations, health risks, criminal charges and exposes them to the threat of blackmail which increases their risk of being approached for match-fixing."

Kermond was set to make his Olympic debut on his horse Yandoo Oaks Constellation, but was not seen as a serious gold medal contender.