A stable has blamed miscalculation and miscommunication for an endurance horse entered in a 120km race in Dubai testing positive to five prohibited substances.
The horse Al Wafyah, registered in the United Arab Emirates, was ridden by a Pakistan-registered rider, Asghar Ali Muhammad Faiz, in the CEI2* event.
Al Wafyah tested positive for flunixin, phenylbutazone, oxyphenbutazone, dexamethasone and clenbuterol, all of which are classified as controlled medications under the FEI’s anti-doping rules.
Flunixin, phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone are anti-inflammatory drugs with pain-killing effects. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory effects. Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator used to treat bronchitis and allergic airway disease.
FEI Tribunal member Constance Popineau fined Muhammad Faiz 3500 Swiss francs, banned him from competing for nine months, and ordered that he pay 1500 francs towards the cost of legal proceedings.
Muhammad Faiz and the trainer submitted a written explanation to the tribunal, saying they were based atn Al Reef Al-Ain stables.
They said there were good medication records for all horses, and the stables had a good reputation, having never had a positive drugs case before.
They said they referred to the records for the case at hand. “We found it was a matter of miscalculation and miscommunication between the staff at our stable.”
They said they cared about horse welfare and cared about maintaining the stable’s high standards and reputation.
The pair said they accepted the test results and would work to ensure such a breach did not happen again.
Popineau, in her decision, said she noted that the drugs breach had been blamed on a miscalculation and miscommunication that occurred between the staff at the stable.
However, Muhammad Faiz had not explained specifically how the drugs had entered the horse’s system, which meant the tribunal could not evaluate the degree of fault for the rule violation.
It was, she said, Muhammad Faiz’s personal duty to ensure that no prohibited substances were present in the horse’s system during the event without a valid veterinary form.
The rider had not provided any information or evidence on whether any procedures were in place or what due diligence was exercised to fulfil that duty.
She concluded that no elimination or reduction of the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility was warranted.
She further found that the presence of a “Controlled Medication cocktail of anti-inflammatory drugs, a corticosteroid and a bronchodilator” amounted to an aggravating factor.
Popineau went on to imposed the fine, costs, and disqualification.