UPDATED: On Feb. 25 the U.S. Center For SafeSport removed Ali Nilforushan from its suspension list.
Olympic show jumper, trainer and event organizer Ali Nilforushan was temporarily suspended on Feb. 19 by the U.S. Center For SafeSport for “allegations of misconduct.”
Nilforushan, Rancho Santa Fe, California, denied any misconduct via a statement on his Facebook page.
“The allegations against me are not sexual in nature at all and I completely deny any wrongdoing in this matter,” he wrote. “I intend to defend myself vigorously until my Interim Suspension is lifted.
“The incident in question involved a single conversation that lasted less than 5 minutes and took place at a horse show with an individual who appeared inebriated,” he continued. “Fortunately, three people, all of whom are willing to testify, witnessed the entire conversation and will confirm that the conversation has been falsely represented to SafeSport. I was not contacted, nor any of the witnesses, before this action was taken. I look forward to a swift resolution to this unfortunate situation and resuming my normal role as a trainer and horse show manager.”
Nilforushan, 45, represented Iran in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and in the 2006 FEI World Cup Final (Malaysia). Through his Nilforushan Equisport Events, he and his wife, Francie Nilforushan, run four weeks of premier horse shows at Galway Downs in Temecula, California.