Jock Paget is expected to appear before the FEI tribunal in late April or early May to decide his fate following Clifton Promise’s positive Reserpine test after Burghley, the New Zealand Herald reported today. The tribunal generally takes about six weeks to make a decision, meaning Jock could potentially be cleared to compete just in time for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
But that’s a long shot, Jim Ellis, director of Equestrian Sport New Zealand, told the Herald. “In order to do that, we have to prove Jock has done absolutely everything he could have, even to some extent beyond what’s reasonable, and to have had no knowledge or control over this substance,” Jim said. “That is the case we believe we can make and that is what’s gone to the FEI — no fault, no negligence.”
The FEI tribunal has exonerated just one person, British endurance rider Christine Yeoman, from a banned substance violation in a 2009 ruling. Jock hired Christine’s same legal team, Burges Salmon based in Bristol, England, to represent him. Burges Salmon submitted Jock’s defense to the FEI tribunal on Jan. 17, the Herald reports.
If the FEI finds Jock had “no significant fault or negligence,” he could receive a one-year ban, but a two-year ban remains a very real possibility. “We’ve had good news rather than bad in terms of what we’ve found — good in Jock’s case in terms of his ability to prove he was clearly morally innocent,” Jim said.
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