June 16, 2005 — Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil and Chris Kappler of the United States moved up to gold and silver medals, respectively, when the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale), the international governing body for equestrian sport, officially disqualified individual show jumping gold medalist Cian O’Connor of Ireland from the 2004 Olympic Games on June 10, due to a positive drug test on his horse Waterford Crystal.
Kappler, of Pittstown, N.J., and Royal Kaliber initially tied with Pessoa and Baloubet du Rouet for second place in Athens, Greece, then competed in a dramatic ride-off, earning the bronze. Now that Kappler has been awarded the silver, Marco Kutscher of Germany and his mount Montender 2 will take the bronze.
The FEI Judicial Committee had disqualified O’Connor after a hearing earlier this year. The FEI received official notice on June 10 that O’Connor had waived his right to appeal. The FEI has officially informed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the medal standings have been changed which will arrange for the redistribution of medals in cooperation with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the National Olympic Committees of Brazil and Germany.
This also impacts the final standings in the team jumping competition at the 2004 Olympic Games. The Irish team, which finished seventh, is eliminated from competition. Therefore, the Italian team moves up to seventh and all other teams below move up one place.
“We congratulate Chris. His performance in Athens was outstanding on both an individual level and as part of our silver medal team effort. Chris is an exceptional athlete and a gracious representative of his sport and country,” said John Long, CEO of the U.S. Equestrian Federation, the national governing body of equestrian sport.