Thursday, April 18, 2024

FEI Goes Quiet on Sanctions Against Countries with a Doping Problem - Full Article

After a huge spike in positives in Saudi Arabia, last year the FEI told it would discuss a counter-measure — but we cannot obtain an update.

By Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson | April 18, 2024

The FEI has apparently rowed back on its own proposal to sanction national equestrian federations with a “prevalence” of doping. If the measure had gone forward it would most likely have penalised the sport’s wealthiest benefactors; Middle Eastern endurance racing still returns more positives than any other region or any other FEI discipline.

New sanctions were suggested last year following a significant spike in positives in Saudi Arabia. But despite enquiries by over the past seven weeks, the FEI has declined to confirm if new sanctions are in the draft EADCMP (anti-doping) rules for 2025, slated for debate at the FEI Sport Forum on April 29-30.

The FEI already stands accused of succumbing to “sportswashing” through allocating this week’s World Cup jumping and dressage finals to Saudi Arabia. Three leading equestrian news organisations, The Horse Magazine, Reiten St Georg and announced a boycott, largely citing Saudi Arabia’s attitude to human rights.

Simultaneously, has pressed the FEI on the contradiction of allocating “big-ticket” championships to countries with known equine doping and cheating problems at a time when the FEI is focussed on public concern about sport horse welfare and the Social Licence to Operate (SLO)...

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