Prague, Jan 28 (CTK) – The winning horse of the 2015 Grand Pardubice Steeplechase, Nikas, was disqualified over doping by the Czech Jockey Club disciplinary commission, and the new winner is Ribelino, according to the commission’s report released on its website yesterday.
The winner of the legendary race has been disqualified over the use of banned substances for the first time in the history of the race that started in 1874.
The disqualification was expected as the horse’s coach Stanislav Popelka said last week that the doping was confirmed.
Ribelino with jockey Pavel Kasny originally finished second in the steeplechase.
The doping control conducted on October 11, 2015 found that Nikas and another horse, Cariray, had banned substances in their bodies. The analysis of a sample B confirmed earlier in January that Nikas had particularly caffeine and theobromine in the body.
Cariray won the Crystal Cup horse race that was held one day before the Grand Pardubice steeplechase in Pardubice, on October 10. Due to the doping, the new winner of the Crystal Cup is Adiutant.
The disciplinary commission did not impose any punishment on Popelka because it concluded that the banned substances were not given to the horses deliberately.
Popelka said an analysis of Nikas’s food showed that the substances were probably in the fodder. He said he wanted to clear his name and take legal action.
The doping case has been yet another bitter pill to swallow for jockey Marek Stromsky who finished first with Nikas.
Stromsky was disqualified already once. In 2008 he finished the Grand Pardubice race with Amant Gris in the first position, but his victory was annulled because he did not follow the race track properly. In 2010, Stromsky with Amant Gris fought for victory in the steeplechase, but they ended second.
The disappointed Stromsky recently announced that he ended his jockey career.