The FEI secretary-General has defended the world governing body’s processes following criticism by Dominican Republic rider Yvonne Losos de Muñiz.
Ingmar De Vos said: “The FEI has the responsibility to enforce and, in this case, to defend the implementation of its rules.
“This is particularly important given the fact that under these rules athletes are competing for Olympic qualification and it is the duty of the FEI to ensure athletes have equal opportunities to qualify for the entire duration of the qualification period.”
De Vos said he had full confidence in the FEI team and Ms Lisa Lazarus, who was singled out for criticism by de Muniz.
“It is regrettable to see that Yvonne Losos de Muñiz has now made the decision to leave the sport,” de Vos said.
De Muñiz announced that she was quitting dressage following the release of a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over her challenge to the Olympic selection process that centred on the application of the rules in respect of international judges.
“My decision is not a result of losing the appeal,” she said, “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.”
She labelled the FEI’s handling of her case as a fiasco.
The panel which ruled in the appeal had described shortcomings in the FEI’s handling of the matter.
It said: “The tribunal considers that the FEI bears responsibility for both of these cases having arisen at all because the competitions were not organized in accordance with the Dressage Olympic Ranking List due to an administrative oversight on the part of the FEI.”