Controversy has hit Australia’s Olympic team on the first day of Tokyo 2020 action, with showjumper Jamie Kermond provisionally suspended by Equestrian Australia after returning a positive A-sample for cocaine.
In a press release issued on Wednesday morning, Equestrian Australia advised that a test undertaken by Sport Integrity Australia on 26 June 2021 had returned the adverse result.
Cocaine is an in-competition prohibited substance under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code. Kermond is barred from all competition, including the Olympics, while the provisional suspension is in place.
Kermond was due to make his Olympic debut in Tokyo, riding Yandoo Oaks Constellation, having helped secure Australia’s team quota at the 2018 World Equestrian Games Team.
The 36-year-old Victorian is now in limbo. Under Australia’s anti-doping policy, he can request to have his B-sample analysed.
Guardian Australia has attempted to reach Kermond through Equestrian Australia.
A spokesperson from the Australian Olympic Committee confirmed that it had been made aware of the provisional suspension. “The Australian Olympic Team selection committee will consider the matter later today,” said the spokesperson.
Equestrian Australia said it had spoken with Kermond and offered him support services.
The team and individual jumping events are not scheduled until the second week of the Games, giving the AOC some breathing room.
Kermond, who competes on the lucrative European circuit, was one of a nine-strong contingent of Australian equestrian athletes selected for Tokyo.
The three showjumpers on the team travelled to Japan without a reserve after Rowan Willis – the country’s top-ranked jumper – pulled out.