World horse-sport body creates doping commission

November 21, 2008

The FEI has announced the creation of a commission on medication and doping chaired by Dr Arne Ljungqvist, Chairman of the IOC Medical Commission and Vice President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The FEI - the governing body of international equestrian sport - said the commission would offer "a robust examination of the way the equine anti-doping policies can be further harmonized to WADA norms in order to ensure that horse welfare remains at the heart of the system and is fully protected."

The announcement of the commission comes after the equestrian world's reputation has been tarnished by doping cases at this year's Olympic Games, with five showjumpers and one dressage horse testing positive for prohibited substances.

"The commission represents a united effort by all concerned athletes, National Federations, veterinarians and representatives of the judicial process to overcome the grey areas that lie between therapeutic medication and doping and to simplify and distinguish for equestrian athletes the practices that are acceptable from those that are not," the FEI said.

It said the commission would also seek to clarify all due processes and procedures relating to the analysis of samples in order to lead to a consensus on a simple definition that gives the IOC, WADA and all stakeholders a clear and unequivocal definition of parallel protocols to those used for human athletes in a code that is agreed by all members of the family who seek Clean Sport.

"We are honoured to have the support and guidance of the IOC in our ongoing commitment to a clean sport for current and future equestrian athletes," said Cayetano Martinez de Irujo, the jumping representative on the FEI Athletes' Committee.

The FEI is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code.