World sport's highest court rejected an appeal Monday from show jumper Ludger Beerbaum, whose doping disqualification cost Germany the team gold medal at the Athens Olympics.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a Jan. 6 decision by the International Equestrian Federation, or FEI, that found Beerbaum and his horse, Goldfever 3, guilty of a doping offense.
The horse tested positive for a banned substance, betamethasone, in Athens, the AP reminds.
"The CAS considered that Ludger Beerbaum committed a mistake by administering a medication containing a prohibited substance to Goldfever 3 and that he had thus committed a doping offense in accordance with the FEI Regulations," the court said in a statement.
"The presence of a banned substance in the urine of an athlete will automatically lead to his/her disqualification from the event in question, whether the ingestion of that substance was intentional or negligent and irrespective of the effect of that substance on the performance," CAS said.
As a result of Beerbaum's suspension, the FEI stripped Germany of the medal, giving the gold to the United States. Sweden moved up to silver, and Germany dropped to bronze after the FEI erased Goldfever's results.
Beerbaum has denied cheating, saying the banned substance was contained in an ointment used to treat a skin irritation on the horse.
The FEI Judicial Committee accepted that the banned substance was connected to a legitimate medical treatment and that Goldfever received no competitive advantage. It also said Beerbaum had not tried to enhance the horse's performance or gain any unfair advantage, but the rider failed to ensure Goldfever was free of prohibited substances during the event.