Olympic points lost as FEI removes French events from rankings

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Two jumping competitions with Olympic ranking points in December 2019 have been retrospectively removed by the FEI, meaning those who participated will lose their ranking points from these competitions.

The competitions in France and Syria were also Longines Ranking events.

The FEI also announced that Qatar had lost its team quota place for the Tokyo Olympics after two members of the Qatari team tested positive for the prohibited substance Carboxy-THC, a metabolite of Cannabis, at an event in Morocco in October.

Additional French events removed from rankings

An investigation into the events in Villeneuve-Loubet, France, established that, contrary to FEI Rules, two competitions counting for the Olympic and Longines Rankings were added at each event after the respective Definite Entries deadlines. The updated schedules for these three events were submitted to the FEI by the French National Federation and were mistakenly approved by the FEI.

As a result, the FEI has retrospectively removed these additional competitions, with competitors losing ranking points from these competitions. The Olympic and Longines Rankings have been updated accordingly.

Additionally, the FEI has established that three of the six events at Villeneuve-Loubet in January 2020 also had two classes counting for Longines Rankings points added after the Definite Entries deadline, again contrary to the FEI Rules. As a result, these additional competitions have been removed and athletes that participated will lose their ranking points for these competitions.

The FEI also reviewed the events that took place in Damascus in Syria between October and December 2019, and while it was clearly established that there was no breach of FEI Rules and Regulations regarding FEI Calendar entries, the event Schedules or the number of events run, the investigation revealed an irregularity with the prize money at three of the events.

Three events held in late 2019 had total prize money that exceeded the limit for a CSI2* and the schedules for these events were erroneously approved by the FEI. As a result, the FEI has removed one FEI competition at each of these events in order to bring the total prize money within the specified limit, but this has no impact on the Olympic Ranking for Olympic Group F.

Changes to Olympic team jumping lineup

The FEI has also reallocated one of the two Jumping team quota slots from the Olympic Jumping Qualifier for Group F in Rabat, Morocco, in October 2019, following adverse analytical findings in two members of the Qatari team, Sheikh Ali Al Thani and Bassem Mohammed. Both athletes tested positive for Carboxy-THC, a metabolite of Cannabis, which is a prohibited substance under the FEI’s Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes (ADRHA).

The FEI Tribunal issued a partial decision regarding the disqualification of the individual results of the two Qatari athletes on 15 February 2020. As a result, Qatar loses its team quota place for Tokyo and this has been reallocated by the FEI to Morocco.

The FEI has now confirmed the team and individual quota places across the three disciplines of Dressage, Eventing and Jumping for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with three nations – Luxembourg (Dressage individual), Pakistan (Eventing individual) and Israel (Jumping team) – qualifying for the Olympic Games for the first time. The new formats have opened the door for more nations to compete at the Games, with Jumping going up from 27 in Rio to 35 in Tokyo, Dressage increasing from 25 to 30 and Eventing rising from 24 to 30. In total, the number of flags has risen from 43 in Rio to 48 in Tokyo.

Latvia returns to Olympic jumping

Latvia’s individual quota slot for Jumping would mean a first Games start after a 32-year absence, having last competed in Seoul 1988. The Czech Republic and Hong Kong, which have both qualified for an individual place in Eventing, are planning to return to the Games for the first time since Beijing 2008.

The deadline to achieve the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) is 1 June, after which the FEI will confirm approval of the FEI Certificates of Capability to the National Federations. The final athlete/horse combinations for the three disciplines will be announced on July 6, 2020.

The Olympic equestrian events get under way the day after the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo on July 24. Dressage will be the first discipline to hold its competitions (July 25-29), followed by Eventing (July 31 to August 3) and then Jumping (August 4-8). The competitions will take place at the Bajikoen Equestrian Park and the Sea Forest Cross Country venue.

The eventing cross country course has been shortened to about 4500m, allowing about eight minutes. The decision to shorten the course was based on advice from the Veterinary and Eventing Committees. The start time for the cross country has been brought forward to between 7.30am and 8am in order to enable an 11am finish, the time identified by FEI climate studies as the beginning of the potentially highest Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) readings.

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