Thursday, December 28, 2006

FEI makes decisions on horse doping cases

The FEI's Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) recently communicated its decisions in two appeals against decisions of the FEI Judicial Committee.

One appeal was brought by rider Thierry Rozier (FRA) in a positive medication case involving the prohibited substance dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid, found in the urine of the horse Dusty Star ridden by Rozier at the Mediterranean Games held in Almeria (ESP) from 24 June to 3 July 2005.

The other appeal was brought by trainer Ismail Mohammed (UAE) in a positive medication case involving the prohibited substances guanabenz and its metabolite hydroxy-guanabenz in the urine sample of the horse Orkara ridden by Sheikh Majid bin Mohd Al Maktoum, a minor, and trained by Mohammed at the FEI European Open Endurance Championship held in Compi�gne (FRA) on 26 August 2005.

The FEI Judicial Committee had disqualified Thierry Rozier from the Mediterranean Games and sentenced him to a three month suspension, and a fine. The rider had appealed the decision arguing that the strict liability approach and presumption of fault was contrary to the presumption of innocence applicable in criminal settings. The CAS panel found the FEI Judicial Committee’s decision to be appropriate and proportional, and did not find reason to alter it in any way. This is the second such decision from the CAS in favour of the FEI in recent months.

Ismail Mohammed, trainer of the horse Orkara, had been suspended by a panel of the FEI Judicial Committee for a period of twelve months from taking part in international competitions. The CAS panel admitted the appeal, and determined that a suspension was appropriate but reduced its duration from 12 to eight months based on a concern for proportionality.

In its decision, the CAS panel highlighted the difficulties involved in designating Persons Responsible when the rider was a minor, and made some recommendations for changes to the relevant FEI rules.

These outcomes each individually reaffirm the reasoning behind the decisions of the FEI Judicial Committee and emphasise the principles underlying FEI rules as lawful under Swiss legislation and international conventions on human rights.

Horse Talk. article

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