Court of Arbitration for Sport exonerates Nicole Walker and highlights her commitment to clean sport

Source: Equestrian Canada, May 4, 2021

Equestrian Canada (EC) has learned of the reasoned rulings by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the Arbitral Award concerning Nicole Walker, EC and The Pan American Sports Organization. 

EC is firmly committed to clean sport and recognizes the breach in the Panam Sports Anti-Doping Rules during the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. We also believe in fully supporting our athletes through the execution of those rules with fairness and technical precision. 

EC is pleased that the CAS Panel accepted that Nicole innocently drank a cup of coca tea, believing it to be green tea. EC is further pleased that CAS found that the Canadian Show Jumping Team was not warned about the prevalence of coca-based products in Peru and that neither the Canadian Show Jumping Team nor Nicole had any knowledge that coca meant cocaine. Specifically, CAS found that the ingestion of the prohibited substance contained in the tea “was the result, and only the result of, the unintentional ingestion of cocaine… as a result of her using a teabag containing cocaine which she took from the breakfast service area of the Los Incas Lima Hotel.”

However, EC is extremely disappointed that despite the Panel’s recognition of Nicole’s integrity and commitment to clean sport, her affected results at Lima 2019 were not reinstated, resulting in the Canadian Show Jumping Team remaining disqualified from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

EC has stood by Nicole throughout the discipline and appeals process and together, we will explore the option of appealing the CAS decision to the Swiss Federal Tribunal in Lausanne, SUI.

Related: Appeal of Canadian Show Jumper Nicole Walker Denied

Related: Canadian Show Jumping Team Punches Ticket to Tokyo After Fourth Place Finish at Lima 2019 Pan Am Games