FEI warns riders about personal duty of care after a repeat offender fails to educate himself, despite two prior positives.
By: Pippa Cuckson | January 18, 2021
A Uruguayan endurance rider has been handed a record three-year ban for a controlled medications offence, because of his history of prior violations.
Facundo Leites could have been suspended for four years for this third violation in four years’ period, though the FEI and its independent Tribunal felt three years was appropriate. Leites, 27, will have served suspensions totalling four and half years when this latest one ends in January 2024, unless he appeals.
Leites claimed he had accepted the ride at Bou Thib, Abu Dhabi in February 19 on Calandria Noe at short notice and could not have known the mare had recently been dosed with the corticosteroid Flumetasone to treat “chronic arthrosis” in the fetlock joint. The stable vet injected her eight eight days before the scheduled race. The trainer blamed the positive sample on the ride then being brought forward.
The trainer, Ali Nasser Sultan al Yabhouni, said his stable was one of the most “respectful” in the country. He had carried out his own investigation, and found miscommunication between stable staff in recording the treatment and the entry made for the ride, for which he apologised.
However, for the Tribunal, Dianne Pitts agreed with the FEI legal department that this explanation was unsubstantiated...