Co-operation key to cleaning up horse sport

July 3, 2009

IOC President Jacques Rogge with FEI President Princess Haya. Several cases of horse doping in Hong Kong last year sparked concern that equestrian sport could be dropped from the Olympics.
© Kit Houghton/FEI

FEI president Princess Haya says that the co-operation of riders, stakeholders, and the national federations overseeing equestrian sports is key to finding a solution to the doping issue that is plaguing horse sport.

Princess Haya was speaking in a podcast regarding the progress of the FEI's Clean Sport Commission, chaired by Professor Arne Ljungqvist, Chair of the IOC Medical Commission and World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Vice President.

"The confusion around what is medication and what is doping, the structures that exist in the FEI, the structures that exist at national federation level are all independent contributors to the situation that we find ourselves in now.

"And we need to come up with a holistic solution that suits everybody. We don't want to come away from this period of time into another situation where the same thing happens and people allocate blame or responsibility to other parties," she said.

The commission chaired by Lord Stevens was established as the diagnostic or investigatory arm to dovetail with the Ljungqvist Commission, which aims to have an inclusive forum for debate on doping, thresholds, and other arguments that "account for confusion which is general in our sport, about what exactly is medication, and what exactly is doping," Princess Haya said.

"The very most important thing is that both of these commissions are chaired by people who are from outside our sport and that is really key to this effort, that we are judged clean and deemed clean by people who have no vested interest in the federation or in the sport itself.

"Professor Ljungqvist is vice-president of the WADA and Lord Stevens's record speaks for itself. I feel that the fact that both of these people are here to help the FEI to guide us and to really provide us with the landscape is something very, very comforting and it's absolutely necessary at this point in time," she said.