In May the FEI Tribunal issued its decisions in the cases involving the two Saudi Arabian riders Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid and Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly. Both Al Eid’s horse Vanhoeve and Sharbatly’s horse Lobster 43 tested positive to the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenbutazone at two separate events in 2011 and 2012. Both riders then appealed the decisions to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Now Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid and Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly have had their bans reduced by CAS. The FEI Tribunal’s original eight month ban has been reduced to two months, which means that both riders can compete again with immediate effect and that Olympic participation is no longer in danger – at least for Al Eid who is already qualified. On their website CAS writes: ”The Sole Arbitrator has today issued his decision by which he partially upholds the appeals and, considering that the infraction was of minor importance, reduces the periods of ineligibility to two months, which have been already served by the athletes. The full award with the grounds will be notified to the parties in a few weeks.”
The Saudi Equestrian has released the following statement in regards to the decisions from CAS:
“The entire team at Saudi Equestrian is delighted with the findings of the International Court of Arbitration for Sport which has reduced the original eight month ban handed to Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid and Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly, to two months and, following their voluntary suspension in February, allows both riders to start competing again with immediate effect.
With Khaled Al Eid already qualified for the London Olympic Games with Presley Boy, the focus is now on Abdullah Sharbatly qualifying on Sultan V before 17th June.
We would like to draw attention to the original findings of the FEI Tribunal which acknowledged, in both cases, that neither the rider nor the team had deliberately administered Bute to their horses, and reiterate that Saudi Equestrian is an unequivocal supporter of the FEI’s Clean Sport campaign."
Ziyad Abduljawad, the Managing Director of Saudi Equestrian said, “This has been an extremely difficult and testing time for the Saudi Equestrian team and I would like to praise the way in which both Khaled and Abdullah have handled themselves throughout the process. I would also like to praise the entire Saudi Equestrian team who have remained focussed and have gone about their own competition schedules in an exemplary fashion. I would also like to extend my thanks and gratitude to Jeremy Dickerson and his team at Burges Salmon for all their hard work on this case.” “
Source on statement from Saudi Equestrian and quote: Press release from Revolution Sports
Related article: Al Eid and Sharbatly with 8-month suspsension