Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Endurance Trainers to Face Automatic Suspension for Doping - Full Article

September 25, 2018
by: Pippa Cuckson

Registered endurance trainers will be given automatic provisional suspensions when horses in their care test positive to prohibited substances, as the FEI beefs up measures to deal with ongoing doping issues in the Middle East.

This in the first time a FEI anti-doping rule will be discipline-specific – subject to ratification at the FEI General Assembly in November. Endurance still returns more positive samples than any other FEI sport.

In equestrianism, because the rider is usually the horse’s trainer and stable manager he is regarded as the prime “person responsible” (PR) and thereby liable for suspension and/or fines if the horse tests positive.

However, endurance in the Middle East is run on similar lines to Thoroughbred racing. Many hundreds of horses are kept in large barns and prepared by professional trainers – who must be registered with the FEI and competed by staff riders or visitors from overseas who have had little prior contact with the animal. Two riders currently awaiting FEI Tribunal decisions are South American visitors who accepted rides in the UAE last winter on horses which then tested positive to banned substances. One of them rode two different horses failing dope tests within a fortnight of each other.

The FEI Tribunal first warned in 2005 about the anomaly of the trainer not being the rider in endurance. More recently, FEI legal obtained discretionary powers to join extra persons – including trainers, owners, vets and grooms – in doping sanctions where there was clear evidence of complicity. If the new rules are approved, trainer suspension will be non-negotiable...

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