FEI Rules on 2016 Prohibited Substance Cases

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Tribunal has handed Jordanian endurance athlete Nayef Al Fayez a 30-month suspension following an adverse analytical finding on samples taken from the horse Obama Al Aswad at the 80-kilometer CEI*1 in Amman, Jordan, on May 21, 2016.

The samples tested positive for the banned substance boldenone (an anabolic androgenic steroid) and the controlled medications dexamethasone (a corticosteroid), meloxicam (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, NSAID), phenylbutazone (PBZ, another NSAID), and oxyphenbutazone (a metabolite of PBZ which has the same pain-relieving qualities).

In its final decision, the FEI Tribunal noted that under the current FEI Equine Anti-Doping Rules, the sanction for an adverse analytical finding for a banned substance is a two-year period of ineligibility for first time offenders. However, due to the presence of five prohibited substances, including the banned substance boldenone, and the performance enhancing effects of the cocktail of drugs, the tribunal felt that the imposition of a period of ineligibility greater than the standard sanction was justified.

The period of provisional suspension, effective from June 20, 2016, has been credited against the period of ineligibility, meaning that the athlete will be ineligible until Dec. 19, 2018. In addition, the Tribunal imposed a fine of CHF $5,000; costs of CHF $3,000, and disqualified the athlete and horse from the competition, in which they finished second.

The athlete has 21 days to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from the date of notification (March 17).

Further details on this case are available on the FEI website

Additionally, the Tribunal issued a final decision in the case of the para-equestrian horse Dendros, ridden by Swiss athlete Matthias Klausener at the CPEDI3* in Somma Lombardo, Italy, on June 19, 2016. Samples taken from the horse tested positive for the banned substance demecolcine, which is used in chemotherapy.

The Tribunal heard that demecolcine might have entered the horse’s system inadvertently via contamination, most likely due to the ingestion of the flower Colchicum autumnale, autumn crocus. Demecolcine is not a pharmaceutical, but in human medicine the substance is used for tumour therapy. There is no known use for demecolcine in veterinary medicine and the alkaloids of the autumn crocus are all very toxic. Demecolcine has been put on the list of suggestions for substances to be designated as specified substances for 2018. Specified substances are those that the FEI recognizes can enter a horse’s system inadvertently, due to a credible non-doping explanation, and therefore to allow the FEI and/or the Tribunal more flexibility when prosecuting a case or when making a sanctioning decision.

The rider’s team proved to the Tribunal’s satisfaction the substance had entered the horse’s system through ingesting hay contaminated by autumn crocus. The athlete had previously successfully appealed for the provisional suspension to be lifted. It was imposed on July 27, 2016, and lifted on Oct. 6, 2016.

The athlete established to the Tribunal’s satisfaction that he bore no fault or negligence for the rule violation and, as a result, the Tribunal ruled that no further sanctions should be imposed, other than the automatic disqualification of the horse and athlete from the competition, in which they finished sixth.

The athlete has 21 days to appeal this decision to the CAS from the date of notification (March 17).

Further details on this case are available on the FEI website

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More