Sjef Janssen Speaks Out on Behalf of Isabell Werth

Friday, July 3, 2009

In spite of the sunshine which brightened the Aachen show grounds the alleged doping issues which kept Isabell Werth from her homeland competition clouded the arena. And it was an unlikely spokesperson who took the opportunity at the press conference after the Grand Prix CDIO who spoke his mind. Prior to this, the only reference to the obvious question on everyone’s mind was from German Chef, Ullrich Kasselmann who explained in part the third place finish of the German Dressage team was affected by the distraction of the issue. But it was Sjef Janssen responding to a question from the press with an opening statement “I hope you are not going to fall off of your chair.”
“Of course Isabell made a mistake, and yet it is not really true because the FEI has to decide if it is doping or not. Let’s not run forward too quickly. Secondly I think and it really has to get off of my chest what they are doing right now in Germany is a disaster. They are killing this lady who meant so much for the sport. Everybody can make a mistake, and personally she didn’t make the mistake as she trusted her vet, totally. It is not a good way at all to treat one of the best sports ladies you have ever had in your country. So I hope some more people give her some more back up in the future because I believe that she really deserves this.”

With that statement, the entire press room broke into applause.