Two riders suspended as FEI boss says “keep it clean”

FEI President Ingmar de Vos at the FEI European Championships in Aachen, August 23. © Andreas Steindl
FEI President Ingmar de Vos at the FEI European Championships in Aachen, August 23. © Andreas Steindl

Two riders have been placed under provisional suspension after their horses returned positive tests for prohibited substances, just before FEI President Ingmar De Vos announced a further push for awareness and education to prevent inadvertent positives.

Samples taken at a CEI1* 80km endurance event at Miramas in France on May 3 from the horse Buenaventura (FEI ID 104TD11/FRA), ridden by Candice Pilloni (FRA), returned positive for the banned substance Oxycodone, an opioid analgesic, and the Controlled Medication substance Lidocaine and its metabolite 3-Hydroxylidocaine, a local anaesthetic.

Samples taken at the North American Juniors and Young Riders Championships in Lexington (USA) on July 16 and 18 from the showjumper Why Not (FEI ID 102UA85), ridden by Sophie Simpson (USA), returned positive for the banned substance Capsaicin, a topical analgesic or irritant.

Both athletes have been provisionally suspended from the day of notification, August 31. Additionally, the two horses have been provisionally suspended for two months. The athletes and the horse owners have the opportunity for a preliminary hearing before the FEI Tribunal to request the lifting of the provisional suspensions.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Ingmar De Vos sent a strong message to the equestrian world on the importance of the FEI Clean Sport campaign, in the countdown to the rollout of the FEI’s global Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Programme (EADCMP) on January 1, 2016.

FEI Headquarters currently coordinates administration of the EADCMP in FEI Regional Groups I and II (Europe), while administration of the Programme in the rest of the world has been undertaken through national anti-doping programmes or National Federations (NFs). That will change at the beginning of next year when FEI HQ takes over administration of the worldwide Programme.

In advance of the implementation of the worldwide EADCMP, the FEI will upscale its awareness and education campaign amongst NFs, athletes and their entourages in order to prevent inadvertent positives.

“It is vital for the integrity of all sport that it is clean and fair, but it is even more important when there is an animal involved because of the welfare implications,” De Vos said.

“The FEI has a stringent anti-doping policy in place to protect horse welfare and maintain a level playing field. Horse welfare and fair play have always been and always will be two of the central pillars of the FEI.

“We have close to 4000 international events on the FEI calendar now, and as the international governing body, it is our responsibility to safeguard our athletes and the sport itself, and part of that is protecting our clean athletes. We have a rigorous testing policy and the FEI Prohibited Substances List contains over 1000 substances, so it is crucial that our athletes and their vets are aware of what they are giving their horses.

“Of course our horses have to be treated if they are injured or sick, but anything given to the horse must have been eliminated from the body of the horse by the time of competition so that we can maintain the integrity of our sport.

“Boosting awareness and education is key. Keep it clean is the message.”

Details on the two cases are available here.

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