Germany wants Ahlmann's Olympic doping ban extended

October 23, 2008

Germany's National Equestrian Federation wants showjumper Christian Ahlmann to be banned for longer than the four months imposed by the FEI Tribunal last week.

Ahlmann was disqualified from the Olympic Games and suspended by the FEI for four months, to end on December 18, over doping charges relating to his horse Cöster and the substance capsaicin. He was also fined $NZ2940 ($US1400; 2000 Swiss francs) and ordered to pay of $NZ2206 (CHF1500) towards legal costs.


Christian Ahlmann and Coster. © Annica Feltendal
"Four months banning is mild," said Dr. Hanfried Haring, the Secretary General of the German Equestrian Federation (FN). "The sentence is especially mild in comparison to the provisions of FEI Regulations. The punishment should serve as a model," he said.

The FN also wants to ban Ahlmann from being in any German team for two years, as well as nations cup events and World and European Championships.

The FEI said it was within the rights of the German National Federation to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

At a press conference yesterday, Reinhard Wendt, CEO of the German Olympic Committee for the cavalry (DOKR) said that the fact that the FEI said the case was that of "doping", but the Tribunal decided it was "medication", had not dispelled any suspicions.

Wendt said that much discussion had taken place about medication and doping, and each rider would then have been clear about the impact of any wrongdoing, namely putting the whole team in jeopardy, and tarnishing the reputation of the sport.

In August International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice president Thomas Bach told Reuters that Germany would send a bill to Ahlmann for his travel and accommodation costs at the Games.

Ahlmann's suspension followed that of fellow showjumpers Denis Lynch, Bernardo Alves, and Rodrigo Pessoa.