Court of Arbitration for Sport issues Decision on equine anti-doping appeal

Media updates
25 June 2020 Author: FEI

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its Decision in an equine anti-doping case involving the horse Saura De Fondcombe (FEI ID: 103CM83 /SUI), ridden by Swiss Jumping athlete Nadja Peter Steiner (FEI ID: 10006562/SUI).

Samples taken from the horse at the CSI3*-W in Tetouan (MAR), 5-8 October 2017, tested positive for the Banned Substance O-Desmethyltramadol. The FEI Tribunal imposed a two-year ineligibly period on the athlete, which was due to end on 23 May 2021, as she was unable to establish the source of the positive finding in her horse. The athlete was also ordered to pay a fine of CHF 7,500 and contribute CHF 2,000 to the costs.

The athlete appealed the FEI Tribunal Decision to the CAS and, in the course of the appeal procedure, the athlete explained that the banned substance had most likely entered the horse’s system when it ingested hay that had been urinated on by a member of her Support Personnel, who had been taking Tramadol.

As the athlete was able to provide a plausible explanation for the source of contamination, it was therefore concluded that the athlete bore No Fault or Negligence. As a result, the FEI entered into an agreement with the athlete to eliminate the suspension and fine imposed by the FEI Tribunal.

The CAS accepted the agreement reached between the FEI and the athlete in its decision of 18 June 2020, meaning that the athlete’s suspension was lifted with immediate effect. Because of the presence of the banned substance in the horse’s system, which was not disputed, the horse’s results at the event remain disqualified.

The CAS Decision can be found here.

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