Yvonne Losos de Muniz is quitting dressage following the loss of her case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), blaming the FEI for what she described as a fiasco.
The Dominican Republic rider, based in Wellington, Florida, expressed her disappointment over the way the matter was handled by the FEI.
“Following the publication of the ruling from CAS that represented the end of my Olympic participation attempt, and after careful consideration and much thought, I have concluded that much to my regret it is now time for me to withdraw from participating in the sport I love, to which I have dedicated much effort for so many years,” she said.
“My decision is not a result of losing the appeal, but rather a direct and unfortunate consequence of the manner in which I was treated by the FEI, specifically by its Dressage and Legal departments, during my protest and appeal.
“I feel at least vindicated that the CAS panel finds in its just-published decision that the FEI and its Dressage Department are ultimately to blame for this fiasco.
“The CAS panel concluded that it would be unfair for the rider from Brazil to lose the points that ultimately allowed her to participate in the 2012 Olympics.
“Unfortunately, that meant that I lost my right to be a part of that event. I assume it was easier to be unfair to me than to the other rider, which is hard to understand.
“Nonetheless, the panel repeatedly points out how the FEI and its Legal Department failed to convince them that the famous 2010 Exception Memo was correct in its application and spirit, and instead maintains that the FEI failed in doing its job of applying the Olympic Qualification rules correctly in the Brazilian events.”
She said it would be very difficult for her to continue competing in the sport of dressage after the way the entire matter was handled.
She said was “repeatedly portrayed by the FEI in a manner which totally contradicts my values as a professional athlete with regards to fair play, sportsmanship, training and riding”, and voiced her anger that her motives for filing the protest were characterized “as those of a sore loser and improviser”.
“As an athlete, I had absolutely no protection, support or consideration from the FEI at any point of this process …
“My position was attacked with a ferocity and recklessness that was in my opinion simply disproportionate and appalling by its clear bias and unprofessionalism.”
Any respect or recognition she might have achieved during her career in the sport and contributions to it were entirely disregarded by the FEI, she said.
“Nonetheless, I am convinced we did the right thing by standing for our rights and a correct interpretation of the rules, and I would do it again.”
She continued: “Many things need to change in the FEI and its approach to development and universality if there is a hope for dressage to be a sport for all nations, regardless of their size and resources.
“Hopefully, the FEI will evaluate its many mistakes not only towards me but also towards the spirit of the sport though this process, and have the courage to admit it and change what and whom needs to be changed.”