The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Tribunal has rendered decisions in cases involving the use of prohibited substances and the abuse of horses.
The first case concerns Sohair des Bruyère, the horse of Elizaveta Minina, a Russian endurance rider, who tested positive for testosterone, a banned substance, on samples taken on 20 January 2018 at the CEI2* in Doha. On 15 March 2018, Qatari trainer Hassan Khamis Mohammed A al-Shahwani admitted the use of testosterone on the horse following a suggestion by a veterinarian. A final court decision against the athlete was rendered on October 25, 2019, but separate proceedings were initiated against the trainer. The FEI tribunal approved the agreement reached on February 24, 2020, whereby the coach would be suspended for 22 months, instead of the standard two-year ineligibility period, due to the early admission of the administered substance. The ineligibility period was set from the date of notification, 23 April 2018, and therefore extended until 22 February 2020. The coach was ordered to pay a fine of 7,500 Swiss francs and legal costs amounting to 1,500 Swiss francs.
The second case concerns Orient Akhmin, ridden by Adel Mohd Ali al-Housani, who tested positive for testosterone at the CEI1* in Abu Dhabi on 27 October 2018. The FEI tribunal imposed a two-year period of ineligibility on the athlete, with the provisional suspension, effective from 13 November 2018, to be deducted from the total suspension. Thus, the Emirati rider will be suspended until 12 November 2020. The results of the athlete and the horse at the event have been cancelled. Adel Mohd Ali al-Housani was sentenced to a fine of 7,500 Swiss francs and ordered to contribute 2,000 Swiss francs towards the costs of the proceedings.
The third case concerns Soda, driven by Ayed Sauod Alosaimi. The rider’s horse tested positive for boldione and boldenone at the CEI1* in Al Qaseem on December 1, 2018. The FEI tribunal decision imposed a two-year period of ineligibility on the athlete. The Provisional Suspension, effective January 15, 2019, having been deducted from the full suspension, the Athlete will be ineligible until January 14, 2021. The Athlete and the horse were disqualified from the event. The athlete was ordered to pay a fine of 7,500 Swiss francs and to contribute 2,000 Swiss francs towards the costs of the proceedings.
The fourth case concerns Trynytee des Aunètes, a mare ridden by French rider Sarah Marcel Dirickx, who tested positive for the banned substance desvenlafaxine at the CSI 1* in La Baule in May 2018. The FEI Court approved the agreement reached on 25 March 2020 between the FEI and the athlete. The Athlete who has been able to prove to the satisfaction of the tribunal that she had not committed any fault or negligence will not serve any period of Ineligibility. Indeed, the results observed on her horse were due to accidental contamination caused by a person on antidepressant medication who had urinated in the horse’s stall. The Athlete had already received a Provisional Suspension effective July 11, 2018, which was lifted on August 1, 2018. However, the couple’s results in the event were cancelled. Each party will pay its own legal costs.
The fifth case concerns Bolota de Alcantara, ridden by Portuguese rider Rodrigo Picão Abreu, which tested positive for desvenlafaxine following the collection of a sample at the CEI 2* in Reguengos de Monsaraz on 17 February 2018. As the Athlete was unable to establish the source of the contamination, a two-year period of ineligibility was imposed. The period of Provisional Suspension, effective March 19, 2018, having withdrawn the full suspension, the Athlete may compete again. The couple’s results in the event are nullified. The athlete was sentenced to pay a fine of 1,200 Swiss francs and to contribute to the costs of the proceedings up to 500 Swiss francs.
The sixth case concerns Sarem, ridden by Ahmad Althmaly, who tested positive for the prohibited substance stanozolol and its metabolite 16-beta-hydroxystanozolol after a sample was taken at the CEI1* in Al Qaseem on 12 January 2019. The same horse tested positive again for stanozolol following the collection of samples at the CEI 2* of Al Ula on February 2, 2019. The athlete was also the trainer of the horse. The FEI tribunal imposed a two-year period of ineligibility on the rider. The Provisional Suspension, effective from 7 February 2019, having been deducted from the full suspension, means that Ahmad Althmaly will be able to compete again from 6 February 2021. The couple was disqualified from both events. The rider was fined 7,500 Swiss francs and ordered to contribute 2,000 Swiss francs towards the costs of the proceedings.
The seventh case concerns Said al-Balushi’s horse Kekmadar, which tested positive for arsenic, a banned substance, at the CEI1* in Abu Dhabi on 8 December 2018. Another horse, Si Quilombo, ridden by the same athlete, tested positive for the same substance at the Abu Dhabi CEI1* held one week later on 15 December 2018. As a result of these aggravating circumstances, the FEI tribunal’s decision imposed a three-year period of ineligibility on the Athlete, effective February 7, 2019. Said al-Balushi will therefore be re-qualified on 6 February 2022. The relevant results have been annulled. The athlete was ordered to pay a fine of 10,000 Swiss francs and to contribute 2,000 Swiss francs towards the costs of the proceedings.
The horse abuse case, which was opened by the FEI following a report by our colleague Pippa Cuckson, concerned the 8 Minute horse. The FEI court ruled that the athlete, Rashed Hamoud Humaïd al-Junaïbi, had abused horses during the Al Wathba CEI3* on 9 February 2019. In its final decision, the FEI tribunal imposed a three-month suspension on the athlete from the date of the decision (March 13, 2020). The couple was disqualified from the event. The rider will have to pay a fine of 2,000 Swiss Francs and 3,000 Swiss Francs in procedural costs.