FEI News - From Isolation to the Olympic Games….Isreal's Ken Lalo
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Posted by FEI.org
He’s a horseman, a sports fan, a legal expert and successful businessman, and as 2021 dawns Israel’s Ken Lalo is filled with anticipation. Because, for the very first time, his country will be represented by a Jumping team at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, and his role in making that happen has been a major one.
“It was a dream of mine for many years”, says the man who has served as President of his National Federation for six terms. “It started partially as my own project because the Board didn’t support me at the time. They felt we should concentrate on establishing more events in Israel and on developing a bigger pool of riders. But I was of the belief that we had to do both”, he points out.
I’m interviewing him in late December 2020, after his appointment as Chair of the FEI Atypical Findings Panel which was created prior to implementation of the new FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations on 1 January 2021.
Ken Lalo’s involvement with the FEI and its legal work dates back to the 1990s. He was Deputy Chair of the FEI Judicial Committee from 1996 to 1999, Chair from 1999, and when that morphed into the FEI Tribunal he continued in the Chair until 2011 when he was appointed as an Arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), a role he continues to fill.
The two words that arise most often in conversation with him are “reasonable” and “fair”, and they possibly explain the status of the reputation he has established. Ken has been at the sharp end of many major legal wrangles down the years, so one might expect to be confronted by a tough, opinionated and uncompromising individual. In stark contrast however he is soft-spoken, thoughtful and sympathetic. It is patently obvious that he has the best interests of both athletes and sport at heart.