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“Sins” of the UAE


Version en español | Version française | النسخة العربية

Riders from the United Arab Emirates periodically get into scandalous news and become anti-doping rule violators.

The FEI Tribunal regularly publishes its Equine Anti-Doping decisions on the FEI website.

For example, one of the latest decisions is dated 16 October 2019 and refers to the horse 8 MINUTE (FEI ID 104BW22/UAE).

This horse was finished first at the 2017 World Championship for Young Riders and Juniors in Valeggio sul Mincio near Verona, Italy, but then eliminated during Final Veterinary Inspection.

8 MINUTE was positively tested for Prohibited Substances: Nandrolone, Stanozolol and EA-ESTRANE-3B,17A-DIOL. Person Responsible – the rider Khalifa Ali Khalfan AL JAHOURI admits a violation of Equine Anti-Doping Rules and agrees to pay a fine of CHF 7,500. The period of ineligibility imposed on Mr Al Jahouri was set of 2 years duration.

8 MINUTE. Photo Instagram

Another case relates to a horse SHADDAD that was positively tested for Prohibited Substance: Testosterone during CEI3* 160 in Euston Park in the United Kingdom on 13 July 2018. Person Responsible – the rider Saeed Mohd Khalifa AL MEHAIRI is suspended for a period of 2 years and is ineligible until 7 August 2020. As well, the trainer is suspended for a period of 2 years and is ineligible until 12 August 2020.

Both the rider and the trainer of the horse are fined CHF 7,500 each and shall pay CHF 2,500 each towards the legal costs.

SHADDAD. Photo Instagram

The other three UAE riders were sanctioned for horse abuse that occurred at CEI events in Abu Dhabi, Al Wathba on 8 December 2018 and 9 February 2019.

Riders were suspended for a period of 12, 18 and 30 months respectively and were fined CHF 4,000, CHF 6,000 and CHF 9,000 and contributed CHF 1,000 each towards the legal costs.

* * *

The FEI updated their Table of Suspensions on 12 November, it can be found here:

Table of Suspensions - 12 11 19

Currently, there are 59 names in this list:

  • 15 names for Jumping
  • 38 names for Endurance
  • 6 names for Eventing

Although it may seem that the riders of one or another country prevail on this list, many forget about such a factor as the number of riders in the country registered in this discipline.

We calculated the ratio of suspended riders from this list to the total riders in the country for a specific discipline:

The statistics are quite curious.

For example, in Slovenia, there are 2 riders registered for Eventing, and one of them is suspended. This gives an extremely big 50% ratio.

For Colombia, one of four Eventing athletes is suspended – it means 25%.

In India, 5.66% of Eventing athletes are suspended.

For Jumping, the highest ratio of suspended riders to the total riders in the country belongs to El Salvador.

In Endurance, many people see only a large number of cases, but they forget about the huge number of registered athletes in this discipline.

For example, there are 13 suspended riders from the UAE and 9 suspended riders from Saudi Arabia. It seems a lot.

But compare this with the number of registered athletes, and you see that the ratio is relatively small.

The ratio is only 1.15% for the UAE and 1.26% for Saudi Arabia. Compare these numbers with the ratio of Oman (2.7%) or even Qatar.

Qatar has a ratio of 6.15% although there are only 4 suspended riders from this country.

Nevertheless, even this ratio is less than the ratio of suspended Jumping athletes from Costa Rica and El Salvador.

Given the huge number of registered athletes, even 13 cases from the UAE are equivalent to a single case from Portugal where there is 1 suspended rider of 67 registered for Endurance.

These cases are violations of individuals, not of the whole country.

Individuals have violated the rules and they have been punished for these violations.

And there is no reason to blame the whole nation for breaking the rules by individuals.