The FEI Tribunal has lifted the provisional suspensions of 11 athletes – two Jumping, two Dressage and seven Endurance – and three Endurance trainers.
Under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs) athletes have the opportunity to request a lifting of the provisional suspension in front of the FEI Tribunal.
Two international Jumping athletes, Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (Sirene de la Motte, FEI ID 103RA62) and Great Britain’s Henry Turrell (Blaze of Glory II, FEI ID 103LD21), whose horses tested positive for the banned substance Sparteine after competing at separate events in Vilamoura (POR) last month, have both had their provisional suspensions lifted as of midnight CEST on 27 April. Sparteine, an antiarrhythmic used to treat cardiac arrhythmia, is found in the lupin flower, which grows in many parts of Portugal.
The FEI Tribunal’s decision to lift the provisional suspensions was mainly based on scientific evidence presented by the two athletes which suggests the likelihood of food contamination. Additionally, the FEI List Group, which reviews the FEI Equine Prohibited Substance List annually, has recommended to the FEI Bureau that Sparteine should be reclassified as a Controlled Medication and Specified Substance from 1 January 2018.
Similarly, the provisional suspensions imposed on seven Endurance athletes and three trainers in the UAE were lifted as of midnight on 30 April 2017, also due to reclassification of a prohibited substance.
Samples taken from seven horses that competed at four different events in Al Wathba (UAE) between the end of November 2016 and mid-January of this year tested positive for Caffeine and a number of metabolites, including the substance Paraxanthine.
Caffeine is already listed as a *Specified Substance and the FEI List Group has recommended that Paraxanthine should be reclassified as a Controlled Medication and Specified Substance from 1 January 2018.
Separately, two US Dressage athletes – Adrienne Lyle (Horizon, FEI ID 105FJ02) and Kaitlin Blythe (Don Principe, FEI ID USA41197) – had been provisionally suspended since 5 April, the date they were notified that their horses had tested positive to the banned substance Ractopamine in Dressage competitions in Wellington (USA) in February 2017.
Their provisional suspensions were lifted at midnight on 28 April following evidence provided by the two athletes that a feed supplement given to the horses had been contaminated.
The FEI Tribunal maintained the provisional suspensions of the two horses on horse welfare grounds and in order to ensure a level playing field, however both athletes applied to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne (SUI) for provisional measures to request the lifting of the suspensions of both horses so that they could compete at the US Dressage Festival of Champions (18-21 May). The CAS granted the provisional measures this week (8 May), but still have to rule on the merits of the case.
The FEI’s Prohibited Substances List is divided into two sections - Controlled Medication and Banned Substances. Controlled Medication substances are those that are regularly used to treat horses, but which must have been cleared from the horse’s system by the time of competition. Banned (doping) substances should never be found in the body of the horse.
In the case of an adverse analytical finding for a Banned Substance, the Person Responsible (PR) is automatically provisionally suspended from the date of notification. The horse is suspended for two months.
*The FEI has also introduced the concept of Specified Substances. Specified Substances should not in any way be considered less important or less dangerous than other Prohibited Substances. Rather, they are simply substances which are more likely to have been ingested by horses for a purpose other than the enhancement of sport performance, for example, through a contaminated food substance.
In the case of a positive for a Specified Substance, provisional suspension is not automatic.