A German coach has been thrown out of the Olympics for appearing to punch a horse who was refusing to jump or trot during the modern pentathlon.
Coach Kim Raisner was heard on German TV urging tearful athlete Annika Schleu to “really hit” the horse while she struggled to control Saint Boy during the showjumping round of Friday’s women’s event.
Schleu had been leading the event before the equestrian, where athletes are given just 20 minutes to bond with a horse they have never ridden.
Modern pentathlon’s governing body, the UIPM, said it had reviewed video footage that appeared to show Raisner – who competed at the 2004 Olympics in modern pentathlon – striking the horse with her fist.
“Her actions were deemed to be in violation of the UIPM competition rules, which are applied to all recognised modern pentathlon competitions including the Olympic Games,” the governing body said in a statement.
“The UIPM Executive Board [EB] has given a black card to the Germany team coach Kim Raisner, disqualifying her from the remainder of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“The EB decision was made today at the Tokyo Stadium before the resumption of the men’s modern pentathlon competition.”
Saint Boy is not among the horses due to be ridden during Saturday’s men’s modern pentathlon competition.
The horse cleared just four fences before crashing into the fifth and then repeatedly refused to jump, eliminating Schleu with zero points as it had done earlier to another competitor, Gulnaz Gubaydullina.