Fight brews over Pessoa in Global Champions Tour

October 16, 2008


Rodrigo Pessoa and Rufus.

A fight is brewing in Brazil over the alleged participation of showjumper Rodrigo Pessoa in the Global Champions Tour Final, which is on now in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The FEI says it will take "all necessary further disciplinary action", should Pessoa take part, and that it understood that Pessoa obtained a court injunction compelling the Brazilian National Federation to enter him in the final, which takes place this week in Sao Paolo.

Pessoa was handed a four and half month suspension from international competition and a fine by the FEI for a doping offence concerning the horse Rufus at the Olympic Games.

The FEI says that it stands by the decision of its Tribunal, which said Pessoa "is suspended for a period of four and a half months (135 days), which period began on the date of the application of the provisional suspension, 29 August 2008, and shall run up to 10 January 2009."

In order to have the suspension lifted, Rodrigo Pessoa must obtain a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the FEI said this has not been the case, and the above decision still applies. The FEI said that Pessoa remains suspended and is not permitted to compete at any international event.

"We understand that he has obtained an injunction from a national court compelling the Brazilian National Federation to enter him in the event," said Alexander McLin, FEI Secretary General.

"That he should take such action is highly disappointing and inappropriate for a sportsman in his position. We will take all necessary further disciplinary action should local court orders or circumstances allow him to take part in the competition. Any result obtained by him in an international competition while under suspension would be void."