Endurance rider fined, suspended for evading drug test on horse


An endurance rider in Saudi Arabia has been handed a two-year suspension and a fine of 7500 Swiss francs after the FEI Tribunal found that he had evaded the collection of a sample from his horse for drug testing.

Mohammed Almalky, who rode Sarem in the CEI2* 120km race at Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, on February 1, 2020, has also been ordered to contribute 2000 Swiss francs toward the cost of the judicial procedure.

Sarem was selected for an in-competition doping control test during the event. The test did not take place as Almalky disappeared with the horse, despite being told about the selection for testing.

FEI officials at the event reported Almalky for allegedly evading, refusing or failing to submit to a sample collection, which is a violation of equine anti-doping rules.

Almalky did not submit any position on the case to the tribunal, despite being offered the opportunity to do so by the FEI and the tribunal.

Brief reports were submitted from the testing veterinarian and chief steward. Sarem had disappeared while the chief steward was accompanying him and another horse to the testing boxes. The horse was not found again on the venue and Almalky did not answer his phone.

The FEI said the two reports clearly establish that Almalky was told about his horse’s selection for drug testing. He had been advised by the chief steward, both in English and with gestures, to wait for him near the testing boxes while he was dealing with another horse. Seizing the opportunity of the chief steward being occupied with another horse, Almalky disappeared with his horse and he was nowhere to be found at the venue, the FEI submitted.

FEI officials tried to contact him by phone without success. As a result, it was not possible to conduct in-competition testing on the horse.

FEI Tribunal member Cesar Torrente, sitting alone on the case, said he was comfortably satisfied that the FEI had demonstrated a rule violation.

Based on the reports of the testing veterinarian and the chief steward, Torrente concluded that Almalky’s conduct was clearly intentional.

The attempts of the FEI officials to contact him, as well as the lack of responsiveness from him in the context of the proceedings, confirm the tribunal’s view that Almalky had evaded, refused or failed to submit his horse to sample collection.

It was, he said, a very serious offence. “The entire anti-doping system, as well as the integrity and credibility of the equestrian sport relies on the cooperation and abidance by the rules, of all participants in the context of the testing procedures.”


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