Use of NSAIDs To Be Put to Vote at 2010 General Assembly

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The policy choice of whether the restricted use of a small number of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be permitted in competition will be put to the vote at the 2010 FEI General Assembly, following a resolution passed by the Bureau today.

In line with the Bureau’s earlier decision, the present Equine Prohibited List and its accompanying Rules and Veterinary Regulations will remain in effect until 4 April 2010. As of 5 April 2010, the FEI will implement the 20 October Prohibited Substances List, a more detailed version of the present Equine Prohibited List which received no specific objections during the four-week pre-General Assembly consultation period. The new Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs) and revised Veterinary Regulations, which both received strong support at the General Assembly, will also be implemented on 5 April 2010.  

In the interim, the List Group, which will be reviewed to include representatives from additional stakeholders including relevant animal welfare groups, will conduct a full review of the Equine Prohibited Substances List, with all the relevant and necessary research, and will take into account all comments from interest groups received following the 2009 General Assembly vote. In particular, the List Group will be looking at NSAIDs and will further review whether or not the use of these substances in competition, singly and at specifically prescribed levels, is a threat to horse welfare and whether or not these substances, at specific levels, are performance enhancing.  

Legal concerns will be addressed by the FEI Legal Department to see whether the restricted use of NSAIDs in competition is in conflict with any national law.  

National Federations will have the opportunity to voice their opinions through their Group Chairs. The FEI President and management will also consult with other equestrian bodies, including the Racing Authorities. Once this full consultation process has been completed, the List Group will then publish the 2011 version of the Equine Prohibited Substances List with validated levels regarding horse welfare and performance enhancement issues.  

At the 2010 General Assembly, National Federations will have the opportunity to vote on the policy issue of whether the FEI should allow the restricted use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), provided the levels are limited and are deemed by the List Group not to threaten horse welfare and not to be performance enhancing. Further to the General Assembly policy choice, the question of whether or not the List should be adopted will be put to the FEI Bureau.

“There was a clear need to debate this issue further and the decision to put the policy choice to the vote at the 2010 General Assembly reflects that”, FEI Secretary General Alex McLin said.


Following the outcome of the vote at the General Assembly, a procedural question has been raised by one National Federation calling for the removal of the Progressive List on the grounds that it was not provided sufficiently in advance of the General Assembly. No specific formal objections to the procedure were made at the General Assembly prior to the vote.  

The 2010 FEI General Assembly will be held in Chinese Taipei from 1-6 November.

Information on the Clean Sport Campaign will be available in January 2010 on the FEI’s dedicated Clean Sport website at

The Veterinary Regulations are currently in a statutory consultation period following the General Assembly and National Federations will have until 15 February 2010 to provide feedback and commentary on those Regulations.