On January 12, 2021, The Court of Arbitration for Sport based in Lausanne, Switzerland, announced its decision to deny Canadian show jumper Nicole Walker’s appeal of a doping violation. As a result, the disqualification of the Canadian show jumping team from the 2019 Pan American Games stands, and Canada will not field a team for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
The Canadian show jumping team had finished fourth in the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru but their results were recalculated to seventh following a hearing on December 4, 2019 before the Pan Am Sports Disciplinary Commission. As a result of the B sample test of athlete Nicole Walker confirming the presence of the cocaine metabolite, benzoylecgonine, a prohibited substance under the World Anti-Doping Agency Code, Walker’s team and individual results were disqualified and replaced by those of team member, Lisa Carlsen. This dropped Canada from fourth to seventh place. The 27-year-old Walker, from Aurora, Ontario, says the substance was inadvertently ingested by drinking coca tea.
Canada will be able to enter just one horse and rider in the individual event in Tokyo. The Canadian team had to finish in the top four in Lima to be among the 20 countries competing at the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Photo: Nicole Walker and Falco van Spieveld at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Mexico, May 5, 2019. Credit: Equestrian Canada/Anwar Esquivel