CAS rules on appeal against horse abuse sanctions

Media updates
01 July 2020 Author: FEI

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has handed down its decision on a horse abuse case. FEI Tribunal Decisions on a human anti-doping case and one equine anti-doping case were also published this week.

The abuse case involved the horse Sarab (FEI ID 105DP50/UAE), ridden by Abdul Rahman Saeed Saleh Al Ghailani (FEI ID 10114704/UAE) at the CEI3* President Cup in Al Wathba (UAE) on 9 February 2019. The case was opened by the FEI following a protest filed by Clean Endurance on 15 February 2019. In its Final Decision of 26 June 2019, the FEI Tribunal Decision ruled that the athlete had committed horse abuse and suspended him for 12 months from the date of the Decision. The FEI Tribunal stated that aggravating circumstances existed and that the athlete also had to take some responsibility for the actions of his Support Personnel. The athlete was fined CHF 4,000 and ordered to pay CHF 1,000 towards the costs of the judicial procedure. All results achieved by the athlete and the horse at the event were disqualified.

The athlete appealed the FEI Tribunal Decision to CAS and a hearing was held at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne on 20 January 2019. The CAS upheld the FEI Tribunal decision, but reduced the athlete’s suspension to eight months as the Tribunal’s conclusion of aggravating circumstances was not substantiated. The CAS ordered the athlete to pay the fine and legal costs imposed by the FEI Tribunal. Additionally, he was ordered to pay CHF 3,000 towards the FEI’s legal fees.

The CAS Decision can be found here.

Separately, the FEI Tribunal rendered its Decision in a human anti-doping case involving the athlete Emma Augier De Moussac (FEI ID 10017125/CZE). Samples taken from the athlete at the CSI3*-W Designated Olympic Qualifier for Group C in Budapest (HUN), 26-30 June 2019, tested positive for the Prohibited Substance Hydrochlorothiazide. The FEI Tribunal accepted the agreement reached between the FEI and the athlete in its decision of 16 June 2020, after the athlete was able to establish that the Prohibited Substance entered her system accidentally through a supplement and that she therefore bore No Significant Fault or Negligence for the rule violation. As a result, the standard two-year ineligibility period was reduced to one year, running from 28 June 2019 to 27 June 2020. All results achieved by the athlete at the event were disqualified, plus all results obtained by the athlete between  the date of sample collection (28 June 2019) and the voluntary provisional suspension imposed on 23 December 2019. The athlete was ordered to pay a fine of CHF 2,000. Each party will bear their own legal costs.

The Final Tribunal Decision can be found here.

The FEI Tribunal also rendered its Decision in an equine anti-doping case, which involved the horses Linkin Park (FEI ID 105RH03/MEX) and Come Back (FEI ID 104SH43/MEX), ridden by Nicolas Pizarro (FEI ID 10002381/MEX). Samples taken from both horses at the CSI2* in San Miguel de Allende (MEX) on 12-15 March 2020 tested positive for the Banned Substance Ractopamine. The FEI Tribunal accepted the agreement reached between the FEI and the athlete in a decision on 26 June 2020. The athlete was able to establish that the source of the Prohibited Substance was contamination of the feed at the feed production plant and that he therefore bore No Fault or Negligence for the rule violation. He will not serve any period of ineligibility, apart from the provisional suspension he had already served since 21 April 2020. The results of the athlete and horse at the event were disqualified. Each of the parties will pay their own legal costs.

The Final Tribunal Decision can be found here.

In the two FEI Tribunal Decisions, the parties can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 21 days of receipt of the Decisions.

Notes to Editors:

FEI Equine Prohibited Substances

The FEI Prohibited Substances List is divided into two sections: Controlled Medication and *Banned Substances. Controlled Medication substances are those that are regularly used to treat horses, but which must have been cleared from the horse’s system by the time of competition. Banned (doping) Substances should never be found in the body of the horse and are prohibited at all times.

In the case of an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for a Banned Substance, the Person Responsible (PR) is automatically provisionally suspended from the date of notification (with the exception of certain cases involving a Prohibited Substance which is also a **Specified Substance). The horse is provisionally suspended for two months.

**Specified Substances

The FEI introduced the concept of Specified Substances in 2016. Specified Substances should not in any way be considered less important or less dangerous than other Prohibited Substances (i.e. whether Banned or Controlled). Rather, they are simply substances which are more likely to have been ingested by horses for a purpose other than the enhancement of sport performance, for example, through a contaminated food substance. Positive cases involving Specified Substances can be handled with a greater degree of flexibility within the structure of the FEI Regulations.

Information on all substances is available on the searchable FEI Equine Prohibited Substances Database.

FEI Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes (ADRHA)
The FEI is part of the collaborative worldwide movement for doping-free sport led by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The aim of this movement is to protect fair competition as well as athlete health and welfare.
WADA’s Prohibited List identifies the substances and methods prohibited in- and out-of-competition, and in particular sports. The substances and methods on the List are classified by different categories (e.g., steroids, stimulants, gene doping).

The List comes into effect on 1 January of each year.

As a WADA Code Signatory, the FEI runs a testing programme for human athletes based on WADA’s List of Prohibited List of Substances and Methods and on the Code-compliant FEI Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes (ADRHA).

For further information, please consult the Clean Sport section of the FEI website here and the FAQ on the WADA website.