The Fédération Equestre Internationale today, Feb. 3, announced seven adverse analytical findings involving prohibited substances in United Arab Emirates endurance events. The horses were tested at four different events at the Al Wathba venue in Abu Dhabi.
All seven horses have tested positive to the same four prohibited substances: the stimulant caffeine and its metabolites theophylline, theobromine and paraxanthine. Theophylline, used for the treatment of asthma and various respiratory diseases, can be metabolized to caffeine. One of the horses also tested positive to the corticosteroid flumetasone, which is used in the treatment of skin disorders.
Theophylline, caffeine and theobromine are listed as controlled medication and specified substances under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Rules. Paraxanthine is a banned substance under the FEI EADCMRs.
Samples taken at the CEI** 120-kilometer ladies ride at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Nov. 26, 2016, from the horse Rafik de Kerpoint, ridden by Amy Louise McAuley of Ireland, tested positive for all four substances.
The horses Castlebar Lightning, ridden by Saeed Sultan Shames Al Maamri of the UAE; Intisaar, ridden by Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum of the UAE; and Mraseel, ridden by Sheikh Sh Hamed Dalmook Al Maktoum of the UAE in the CEI** 120-kilometre ride at Al Wathba on Dec. 17, 2016, tested positive for the four substances. The horse Mraseel also tested positive for flumetasone.
The horse Salam Banquetol, ridden by Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri of the UAE to finish second at the CEI** 120-kilometer event at Al Wathba on Dec. 24, 2016, tested positive to all four substances, as did both Tom Jones TE, ridden by Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri of the UAE, and Aspenview Amir, ridden by Saeed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi of the UAE at the CEI** 120-kilometer event at Al Wathba on Jan. 14.
The seven athletes and the trainers Ismail Mohd, Khalifa Ghanim Al Marri and Mohd Ahmed Ali Al Subose have all been provisionally suspended from the date of notification (Jan. 30). The seven horses are also suspended for a two-month period from the date of notification.
Details on these cases are available on the FEI website.
“We take all breaches of the FEI anti-doping regulations extremely seriously and these latest positives demonstrate clearly that those using prohibited substances will be caught,” said FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez.
“This is the first time that we have suspended the trainers at the same time as the athletes, but when there are multiple breaches by one trainer, it is clear that there is something wrong with the stable management. Suspending the trainers immediately, rather than waiting until the athlete has been prosecuted, confirms that the FEI will not tolerate any attempts to enhance the performance of the horse,” she continued.