No explanation given for positive drug test in Endurance horse

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An Oman-registered rider whose Endurance mount tested positive for an anaesthetic drug provided no explanation to the FEI Tribunal for the infraction.

Ahmed Mohamed Said Al Balushi had ridden Miss Saularie in a CEI 1* 80km rider in Qatar on February 3 last year.

Miss Saularie, who had an owner based in Qatar, subsequently tested positive for lidocaine and a metabolic byproduct of the drug, 3-Hydroxylidocaine. Both are local anaesthetics also used for the treatment of certain skin diseases.

They are classified as controlled medications under the FEI’s anti-doping rules.

The circumstances meant the case was able to be dealt with through an administrative procedure, without it going before the FEI Tribunal.

Al Balushi was offered the opportunity to accept his disqualification from the event, a fine of 1500 Swiss francs and the payment of 1000 francs in costs.

Al Balushi was made aware of the potential risks of declining the administrative sanctions, including the possibility of heavier sanctions being imposed by the tribunal. He did not accept the offer and the case went before the tribunal.

The rider offered no explanation to the tribunal for the drug breach.

The FEI, in its submission, said the strict liability principle applied in such cases, and Al Balushi had a duty of care to ensure his mount competed without drugs in its system. Al Balushi had not provided any explanation for the breach.

Tribunal member Henrik Arle, sitting as a one-member panel, imposed a fine of 3000 Swiss francs and ordered Al Balushi to pay 1500 francs toward the cost of the judicial procedure. He imposed a six-month suspension on the rider.

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