FEI Testing in Eventing 

2 Mar 2004

FEI vet authorities responds to rumours of use of sedatives in Eventing 
 
Further to recent media attention in relation to the use of prohibited medication (i.e. sedatives) in Eventing, the FEI would like provide the following update. In 2003, FEI responded immediately to rumours circulating about the use of sedatives in the Dressage test of Eventing and the subsequent use of 'reversal' agents prior to the cross-country.

The Federation took this matter seriously and discussed it in detail during its April 2003 Bureau Meeting. Further to consultation with the Veterinary Committee, the Medication Sub-Committee and the FEI Veterinary department, it was decided to increase the testing activities during several major events.

The CCI 4* Burghley was selected and the number of horses tested was significantly increased (15 horses). Samples were taken after the Dressage, after the Cross-Country test and on the last day of the event. Informed on possible substances that could be used to this effect, the laboratory confirmed that the detection of these substances did not represent any analytical difficulty. No prohibited substances were detected in these samples, with the exception of one Bute positive, which was dealt with through the normal FEI Legal procedure.

No background information or facts surrounding the rumours of the use of sedatives in Eventing Dressage were reported either to the FEI Secretariat or to the Judicial Committee. Since its foundation, the FEI particularly concerns itself with the welfare of the horse, as shown in its Code of Conduct and Mission statement. The FEI has extensive Medication Control activities (more than 2000 horses were tested in 2003 by the FEI in addition to thousands of tests carried out by National Federations). The FEI list of prohibited substances is constantly under review and regularly updated.

Further to its recent investigations, the FEI is confident that the speculations about administration of tranquilisers in Eventing Dressage are unsubstantiated. Nevertheless, the FEI has taken note of the current discussions in the Eventing community, and will continue to focus its testing activities accordingly.

 

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