The Biggest Single Dope Test Fail In FEI History-Endurance Rocked By New Scandals

The CEI 3* at Windsor, Great Britain

Monday 18 March - 00h51 | Lulu Kyriacou

The Biggest Single Dope Test Fail In FEI History-Endurance Rocked By New Scandals

If the huge numbers of dead and injured horses, or the complete bedlam that reigned at the 2018 World Championships were not enough to damage the reputation of endurance beyond repair, two more scandals have broken into the media this week, both of which are likely to increase pressure on the authorities to take drastic action to reform the discipline.  

First, when the latest table of FEI  dope test fails was released on March 12th, there were seven positive tests from one ride in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The offending tests were all recorded at the CEI2* 120 , Al Ula which ran on 2nd February this year.  Seven is a staggering 25% of the 30  horses tested at the ride. These figures may increase as the list of any rider who accepted administrative sanctions immediately is usally updated later.

​Seven positive tests, from one event, is the largest amount recorded at a single instance in FEI history. In any discipline. 

If that was not enough....... 
Grand Prix was one of the first publications to break the news of the Bahrain endurance horse being injected during a race (with an as yet unknown substance) a couple of weeks ago.  This article has been widely shared and during the course of one discussion on social media, Tricia Hirst, an extrely experienced and well known British observer, mentioned that she had seen, and reported, another Bahrain trained horse  being injected during the international at Windsor in the UK in 2018. On her post she said "At Windsor last year I witnessed a Bahraini horse about to be be injected. It had crossed the line in first place, but I was watching closely as they took it out of the hold area before final vetting and were trotting the horse up - it was obviously lame. They took it back inside the vetting area and proceeded to get a needle out to inject the horse, I shouted at them loudly telling them to stop whilst my daughter ran to get a member of the Ground Jury. They were not happy with me as I had to keep shouting at them to attract attention so they wouldn't inject the horse. The Ground Jury came over and we asked whether the horse could be dope tested after vetting which it was. It failed the vet as it was lame. The thing I was disappointed with was that none of the people involved were removed from the vetgate so who knows whether they injected any of their other horses. We had to write statements for the FEI but I am not aware if any sanctions were given to those concerned." 

​The horse mentioned by Hirst is called Assad, who is not noted as being disqualified for any rule violation, and a drug test came back negative. The interesting thing about this horse is that it is trained by Ahmed Janahi  who also trains Tammam de Lizonne, the horse seen being injected in the video.  The FEI have been asked to look into this matter.

​The CEI at Windsor is run by the Horsepower Group, who are also responsible for rides at Euston Park as well as hosting the 2019 European Endurance Championships. one of the Euston Park Internationals  hit the headlines in 2018  when a non-competing horse was allowed to be ridden on track during the event.

Further reading...

Talk