Friday, November 27, 2009

FEI president Princess Haya defends controversial drug rule

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article
By Pippa Cuckson
Published: 6:24PM GMT 27 Nov 2009

The levels at which controversial anti-inflammatories can be tolerated in equine sport were advised by team vets from Germany and USA, two of the federations that spoke against them, it has emerged.

In a letter defending last week's vote by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), its president HRH Princess Haya stressed the right of the majority to decide - the substances were approved by 53-48, with most European federations voting against.

Princess Haya said the levels were in line with those applied for non-steroidal anti inflammatory (NSAID) use in humans by the World Anti Doping Agency and had been advised by "experienced national team veterinarians".

The aim was to enable supervised treatment no more than 12 hours before competition so that the medication was 'performance restoring' rather than 'performance enhancing'.

Europe, which organises 80 per cent of world equestrian sport, has damned the move.

Princess Haya was replying to a letter from Prof Leo Jeffcott and other distinguished international veterinary surgeons who urged a re-think on the FEI's newly approved "progressive" medications list which they feared would lead to horse abuse.

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