CAS partially dismisses appeal against suspension, leaving race promoters to pay the FEI over $1m in fines and organisers’ dues.
By: Pippa Cuckson | May 10, 2021
The United Arab Emirates committed a “severe” violation of FEI rules by running two premier endurance races as national events last winter, in a “knowing and deliberate” response to the robust new FEI endurance rules.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed an appeal against last fall’s suspension of the UAE federation by the FEI. The appeal was lodged jointly by the UAE federation and the organisers of the two races, Dubai Equestrian Club (DEC) and the Emirates International Endurance Village (EIEV) in Abu Dhabi.
While CAS reduced some of the sanctions, this still leaves ride organisers having to pay the FEI a total of CHF 887,448 (CAN $ 1,194613) in fines and organising dues.
CAS’s operative decision was announced earlier this year but its full reasoning has only recently been published.
Last September the FEI Board suspended the UAE following an investigation into the 160km Sheikh Mohammed Cup at DEC in January 2020 and 160km President’s Cup at EIEV in February 2020. These races should have been have been staged (as previously) as International Endurance Events (CEIs) because the foreign riders far exceeded the quota permitted CENs are limited to four National Federations (NFs) and/or no more than 15 foreign athletes aside from “athletes living outside their country of nationality.” Investigators Bird & Bird LLP found that 93 foreign riders from 24 different countries participated in the Sheikh Mohammed Cup and 88 from 21 in the 2020 President’s Cup...
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