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Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Updated: July 14, 9:04 PM ET
Stockdale has lifetime ban lifted

Associated Press

LONDON -- A British equestrian competitor found guilty of a doping offense in 2002 had his lifetime Olympic ban lifted Wednesday, allowing him to compete in the Athens Games.

The International Equestrian Federation had banned Tim Stockdale after a prohibited sedative was found in the urine of his horse at an international competition July 30, 2002.

Stockdale and his horse were disqualified, and the rider was fined. Under British Olympic Association rules, any competitor found guilty of a doping offense is ineligible to compete for the British Olympic team.

But Stockdale appealed, and a BOA panel ruled in his favor on grounds the offense was "minor."

BOA chief executive Simon Clegg said the lifetime ban was meant primarily for cases involving drugs ``of a performance enhancing nature.'' He said the appeals panel considers cases of ``minor nature'' or those involving ``significant mitigating circumstances.''