Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the United Arab Emirates and the leader of Dubai, has decided to ban himself from endurance competitions after two horses he rode tested positive for doping. The horses were tested last week during routine post-competition checks by Sheikh Mohammed’s personal staff in the United Arab Emirates.
Two banned substances—Guanabenz and 16b Hydroxy-Stanozol—were found after an international endurance competition in the UAE, according to Horse And Hound.
Sheikh Mohammed has a reputation for championing fair play in horse sports, and he offered the “highest level of cooperation to the International Equestrian Federation.” He has already started an internal investigation into the dopings and imposed a ban on himself from competitions, even though the FEI hasn’t requested one yet.
“His highness immediately requested his representative contact the FEI and advise them of this information in order that they may correct the placings as Sheikh Mohammed considers his results null and void,” stated a release from Sheikh Mohammed.
He stressed that he was “completely unaware and utterly condemning of the administration of these substances.”
Although this is embarrassing for Sheikh Mohammed, it’s particularly troubling because his wife, Princess Haya of Jordan, is the president of the FEI, and she set up a Clean Sport Commission after five show jumpers tested positive for capsaicin at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Princess Haya released her own statement recommending that the role of president in this instance, and all matters relating to this subject, be deferred to Chris Hodson, the second vice-president of the FEI.
“Additionally, although endurance is not an Olympic discipline, but in view of her position as a member of the International Olympic Committee, Princess Haya immediately notified the IOC Ethics Commission of her decision to defer the presidency of the FEI in this matter.”