Unfounded allegations have been levelled against the FEI in a press release issued by the manufacturer of the WTP bit, Adrian Morgante.
Mr Morgante submitted the WTP bit to the FEI for approval in 2014, however the FEI did not approve it for use in FEI Dressage competitions. The reasons for the decision were clearly communicated to Mr Morgante.
There is a standard process for equipment companies to submit their equipment to the FEI for approval and, if it is not approved, the manufacturer can appeal that decision under Articles 165.1 and 165.5 of the FEI General Regulations. Mr Morgante was advised of his right to appeal, but despite the fact that he was clearly unhappy with the decision, he chose not to do so.
Over the past 18 months, there has been ongoing communication with Mr Morgante, including a conference call with him and his legal advisers where they were again advised of the opportunity to resubmit the WTP bit for evaluation together with any reports or third party endorsements. Mr Morgante has consistently declined this offer.
Contrary to Mr Morgante’s claims, the WTP bit has never been approved for use in FEI competition.
FEI staff members and officials have conducted themselves entirely correctly throughout this process.
The FEI has a robust system in place for investigating any concerns regarding alleged integrity issues in the sport, having set up the independent Equestrian Community Integrity Unit in January 2010. The ECIU was drafted into the FEI Statutes in May 2011 and is now a permanent fixture in the structure of the Federation.
The FEI firmly believes that correct procedures have been followed and refutes the allegations, but on the basis of good governance we will ask the ECIU to investigate this matter.