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The FEI Tribunal has today issued its decisions in the cases of the two Saudi Arabian athletes, Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid and Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly, whose horses tested positive for Controlled Medication substances. The Tribunal has imposed suspensions of eight months on both riders.
The horses, Vanhoeve (Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid) and Lobster 43 (Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly), tested positive to the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenbutazone (a metabolite of Phenylbutazone) at two separate events.
Vanhoeve was sampled at the Riyadh CSI3*-W in Saudi Arabia (30 November-3 December 2011), and the positive finding was notified to the athlete on 2 February 2012. Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid voluntarily suspended himself without prejudice on 24 February.
An adverse analytical finding for the horse Lobster 43 resulted from testing at the CSI3*-W at Al Ain in the UAE (9-11 February 2012). The case was notified to Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly on 24 February 2012, and the athlete also put himself on a voluntary suspension, commencing on 28 February.
Controlled Medication substances are those that are prohibited in competition, but are permitted for treatment use outside competition. The Rules provide that the suspension period for Controlled Medication substances can be anywhere between a warning and two years.
The final hearing before the FEI Tribunal for both cases took place at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) last month. Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid (Vanhoeve) appeared before the Tribunal on 18 April, and Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly (Lobster 43) the following day, 19 April. The panel for both hearings was composed of the FEI Tribunal Chair, Professor Dr Jens Adolphsen (GER), Pierre Ketterer (FRA) and Randi Haukebø (NOR).
In its Final Decision on the Vanhoeve case, which was issued to the KSA National Federation today (23 May), the Tribunal found that the Person Responsible (PR), Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid, failed to prove that ingestion by means of exposure to a contaminated stable environment was the likely source of the Prohibited Substances found in the horse’s system.
While it acknowledged the importance of the Olympic Games, which had been stressed by both the PR and Counsel for the PR during the hearing, the Tribunal stated that considering the upcoming Games while determining the length of suspension would not provide a level playing field in a sports calendar that offers major events almost every year, and that rules have to be applied consistently throughout the four-year Olympic cycle.
The Tribunal imposed an eight-month suspension, effective immediately and backdated to 24 February 2012, the day the PR accepted a period of Voluntary Provisional Suspension. In addition, the Tribunal imposed a fine of CHF 1,000 and costs of CHF 3,000.
In its Final Decision on the Lobster 43 case, which was also notified to the KSA National Federation today, the Tribunal found that the PR, Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly, failed to establish how the Prohibited Substances entered the horse’s system. The Tribunal rejected the PR’s theories on ingestion in a contaminated environment. The Tribunal also ruled that as Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenbutazone are not Threshold Substances, any quantity of those substances is considered a positive.
The Tribunal imposed a suspension of eight months, effective immediately and credited from the time of sample collection on 10 February 2012, based on Mr Sharbatly’s timely acceptance of the rule violations. The Tribunal also imposed a fine of CHF 1,000 and costs of CHF 3,000.
The Persons Responsible have 30 days from the date of notification (23 May 2012) to appeal the findings to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (SUI).