Monday, October 14, 2013

Toads, snake poison and dead horses

NZZ.ch - Full Article

Doping in endurance riding
October 12 2013

[google translation from German]

The Endurance is horrible because of doping-like practices continue in the headlines. For Princess Haya, President of the International Equestrian Federation, a huge burden. Because her husband is brought into connection.

by Peter Jegen

Etti Plesch, born Countess Maria Wurmbrand-Stuppach 1914 in Vienna, had a penchant for fast horses and rich men. "Horses and Husbands" is the name for the biography published after her death in 2003, starting with the fact that the total of six times married woman twice the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe won with the gallopers and Psidium Henbit, at a young age with An American millionaire's son was verkuppelt. Because the poor family only possessed the title of nobility.

«Horses or spouse" according to the biography would be called, which could draw the Jordanian Princess Haya bint al-Hussein one day once. For the life of the President of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) her husband is becoming increasingly difficult to stressful mortgage.

Sheikh Mohammed and the doping
The 39-year-old Princess Haya is a second wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the 64-year-old ruler of Dubai. This maintains one of the largest horse with Godolphin racing stables in the world, was hit in the spring of a big doping scandal. Full coverage anabolic steroids were administered as a control training in Newmarket (England) showed.

Guilty as the trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni was branded, meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammed immediately cooperated with the authorities to close the affected stall left in his emirate of Dubai exacerbated the doping regulations.

The damage was done, however, and the efforts to achieve a drug-free sport horses seemed hardly credible, because Sheikh Mohammed did not come out of the headlines. He himself was as endurance riders already closed due to doping, and in one of his English stables where horses are trained for endurance riding, in a raid in September 124 medical products were confiscated, which are not authorized in the UK for horses.

An explosive Fund because the Endurance as opposed to horse racing, a discipline of the FEI, with the Princess Haya to act as the President for an ethical handling of horses and against doping. Of which her husband apparently seems not too much to keep.

As in the Chamber of Horrors
Efforts to ease term limits on the FEI peak at the beginning of November in Montreux upcoming General Assembly from 8 to 12 Years, Princess Haya recently declined with thanks. You will not be the end of their term of office end of 2014 continue to be available, they left with reference to their statements made to the office know.

However, as they are likely to have influenced the recent events, especially the Swiss Equestrian Federation for months by the FEI and a workup of doping in endurance riding, the so-called Endurance calls. A FEI Commission has now established, but lack the independence, from the Swiss. Also complained that primarily improve the situation in the future, but not proven doping should be worked up.

The latter is urgently needed because it seems like going to and fro in the chamber of horrors. The Swiss Association President Charles Trolliet, himself vet says that the FEI has tested positive between January 2010 and December 2012 at 41 international events horses in Endurance, primarily on steroids, anti-inflammatories and painkillers. The figures come from a statistic that has for the same period, 29 tested positive for jumping horses and states that 82.9 percent of cases in the Endurance rider from the Arab concern.

Cocktails with toads and snake poison
"Le Monde" wrote a few days ago even of dead horses. The French association had three deaths at endurance events in 2012 registered. And over the sheet tells of a veterinarian that horses will injected intravenously vodka, enriched with the painkiller Sarapin, an extract of the pitcher plant, and toads or snake venom.

What sounds like a horror story, might not be so far-fetched. Reported in the previous year, "New York Times" about similar practices in American horse racing. There were about 30 horses tested positive for dermorphin, which originates from South American frogs. The agent should numb pain, but also make the same hyperactive and thus be more effective than just pain-suppressing cobra venom.

As FEI President still viable?
If the situation continues to worsen and the horses empire of Sheikh Mohammed does not come out of the doping headlines, inevitably raises the question of whether his wife is even more portable than FEI President. Princess Haya is to finish the second term? A withdrawal before the end of next year would in the face of widespread outrage against the conditions in the Endurance hardly surprising.

A premature withdrawal would certainly be a distressing line under a presidency that began so promisingly. Princess Haya, FEI transformed the antiquated in a modern global sports federation and brought a lot of character (Arabic) money. Achievements, currently stand in the shadows, throwing her husband about the equestrian sport.