Following allegations about the conduct of the Event Director at the FEI World Endurance Championships 2019 for Juniors & Young Riders and Young Horses in Pisa (ITA) on 18-20 September 2019, the FEI sent Gianluca Laliscia a Notification Letter on 5 December 2019 regarding alleged violations of the FEI Rules and Regulations.
Given the allegations against Mr Laliscia, which he denies, the FEI had concerns about his role with the Organising Committee of the FEI World Endurance Championships 2020 to be held in Pisa on 3-6 September 2020. The FEI was also mindful that the disciplinary proceedings against Mr Laliscia (including any appeal) might not be resolved until after the 2020 Championship.
The FEI considers that it is important for the Endurance community to have certainty regarding the hosting of the 2020 Championship, and also to ensure that there will not be any (direct or indirect) interference with the decisions of Officials at the Championships. To achieve these objectives, the FEI, Mr Laliscia and the involved stakeholders held constructive discussions, following which the FEI has agreed to accept detailed undertakings from Mr Laliscia and the Organising Committee (set out below), which are backed by serious sanctions for any breach. Mr Laliscia and the Organising Committee also confirmed their continued commitment to host the 2020 Championship in full compliance with all applicable FEI Regulations and all contractual obligations.
Based on the discussions, the undertakings given and the agreed terms, the disciplinary action against Mr Laliscia has been resolved.
As a result of the undertakings provided by Mr Laliscia and the Organisers, the FEI Board is satisfied that there is a sound basis for the successful staging of the 2020 Championship.
Summary of the principal agreed undertakings:
1. The 2020 Championship will be organised in full compliance with all applicable contractual obligations and all applicable FEI Rules and Regulations.
2. The principles of sporting integrity, equal treatment, and fair competition will be upheld throughout the entire 2020 Championship.
3. Each individual tasked with any part of the organisation of the 2020 Championship will comply in full with all applicable contractual obligations and all applicable FEI Rules and Regulations, and will uphold the principles of sporting integrity, equal treatment, and fair competition throughout the entire 2020 Championship.
4. Any circumstances that might be an obstacle to such compliance will be notified to FEI HQ immediately, and the Organisers will duly cooperate with the FEI to address the issue.
5. The Organisers and the Italian Equestrian Federation will jointly propose a suitably qualified person to be appointed as new Event Director for the 2020 Championship, in place of Mr Laliscia. The appointment shall be subject to the approval of FEI HQ.
6. As CEO & Chairman of sistemaeventi.it, Mr Laliscia will fulfil his commercial and other responsibilities at the 2020 Championship, but he will not be involved in the sporting or technical aspects of the event.
7. The FEI will select and appoint, in its absolute discretion, all officials to officiate at the 2020 Championship, including (without limitation) the Technical Delegate, the Course Designer, the Ground Jury, the Veterinary Commission, and the Stewards.
8. The authority of the Event Officials, in particular in their activities and decisions at the 2020 Championship will be respected at all times, in accordance with all FEI Rules and Regulations.
9. The Organisers will consult the FEI and will comply with any reasonable request from the FEI about all aspects of the security arrangements for the 2020 Championship.
10. No events/competitions other than the 2020 Championship will be held from 3-7 September 2020 (inclusive) at the venue for the 2020 Championship.
11. A breach of the undertakings by any individual or organisation will lead to serious disciplinary sanctions.