World of Showjumping
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The Dutch Equestrian Federation suspends Bart Bles after positive doping test

Monday, 20 June 2022

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for WoSJ. Bart Bles. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

The Dutch Equestrian Federation (KNHS) has announced that Bart Bles, currently ranked 74 in the world, has been suspended after returning a positive doping test taken at the Dutch Championships in Deurne in April 2022, where Bles took the silver medal. 

The testing was carried out by the Dutch Doping Authority, and according to KNHS, Bles’ test returned positive for the use of a banned substance. As a consequence, Bles has lost his silver medal and has been suspended with immediate effect. The duration of the suspension will be decided at a later stage, via the applicable procedures, the KNHS announced.

“I got carried away on a night out. Incredibly stupid and I deeply regret it. I am really letting the whole team down with this, it should never have happened,” Bles said in a press release from KNHS. 

With Bles losing his medal, Sanne Thijssen moves up to take the silver and Jur Vrieling the bronze. Bles will also not be able to participate at CHIO Aachen, to which he had been selected. 

SF Equestrian, Bles’ horse owner and sponsor, released a statement regarding the suspension

“SF Equestrian has been informed that during the doping control after the NK Jumping in Deurne in April, rider Bart Bles was found positive for the use of a substance that is on the list of human illicit substances.

As a result of the positive test, rider Bart Bles has been immediately suspended by SF Equestrian in accordance with the contractually agreed house rules with regard to all his activities and involvement with SF Equestrian. The well-being of the horses under the management of rider Bart Bles is guaranteed at all times.

SF Equestrian is completely surprised and shocked about the positive test of rider Bart Bles. Such a positive test in no way fits within the sport and the contractually agreed house rules with regard to which SF Equestrian has a strict zero-tolerance policy.

Further information about the further and future consequences will be provided at a later date.”

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