Important Publication from the FEI Regarding the Case of our EUAEL Alliance Partner Vincenzo Giardino

Two bay polo pony’s in wooden stable

“Dear Athletes,

Following recurring cases in which human medication excreted via urination in horses’ stables has resulted in horses testing positive for prohibited substances, the FEI Tribunal has urged the FEI and all athletes to reinforce the information and education provided to support personnel about this avoidable contamination risk.

This advice is particularly relevant for all athletes right now. It is not always possible for an athlete to prove no fault or no negligence in order to eliminate or reduce the standard sanction and, while the FEI is proposing greater flexibility for applicable sanctions in contamination cases to be voted on at the online FEI General Assembly in November, equine contamination through human urination is completely avoidable.

In the most recent case of this type, for which a Final Decision was issued on 26 August, the athlete was able to establish that the prohibited substance entered the horse’s system through the ingestion of straw bedding contaminated through urination by the support personnel.

In its Decision, the Tribunal stated that it is “concerned regarding the number of recurring cases where urinating in the horses’ boxes led to cross contamination of those horses. In the view of the Tribunal those are clearly cases which could easily be avoided if all stakeholders in equestrian sport were properly educated about the risks of this kind of contamination. The Tribunal therefore strongly encourages the FEI, as well as those expected to educate others, for example riders that are supposed to educate their Support Personnel, to reinforce their information and education duties.

In a bid to raise awareness and draw attention to the risks of contamination, we strongly encourage all athletes to review all the documentation and ensure their support personnel are also fully aware of the Clean Sport rules and ramifications.

A dedicated page to contamination prevention outlining best practices to avoid positive samples due to contamination, including urination by personnel in stables, is available on the FEI website. The comprehensive FEI Clean Sport for horses hub is aimed specifically at athletes, grooms and support personnel and provides all necessary information regarding the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Programme and associated testing procedures, test results, equine prohibited substances and resources related to the medication of horses and educational material.

The FEI will continue to develop its educational material on FEI Campus in relation to Clean Sport and we look forward to promoting these new courses in the near future.

Thank you for your cooperation in this important task of educating and raising awareness on this specific contamination risk.”

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