June 11, 2012
On Thursday last week, a hearing was held in London to examine a ban levied against two show jumpers from Saudi Arabia. One May 23, 2012, riders Khaled Abdullaziz Al Eid and Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly were found guilty of violating the FEI Equine Controlled Medication Rules. The FEI suspended both riders for eight months. Both riders immediately filed appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), challenging the FEI's decision against them. Under the FEI's ruling, both men would have missed the opportunity to represent their nations in the London 2012 Olympic Games. At the request of the riders and with the consent of the FEI, the two appeals were referred to the same sole arbitrator (Mr Graeme Mew, Canada) and were conducted together on an expedited basis, leading to a hearing in London last week. Today, the Sole Arbitrator issued his decision by which, according to the CAS website, 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. Assuming that the two riders can fulfill the eligibility requirements of their national teams and the Games, they would be eligible to ride in the Olympic Showjumping competition during the London 2012 Olympic Games. If their names souns familiar,?Sharbatly won the silver medal in show jumping at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky in 2010, and Al Eid was the bronze medalist at the 2000 Sydney Games. Jumper photo by Alexander Kavun????????? Fran Jurga is a freelance writer and editor from Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her award-winning blogs include The Jurga Report for EQUUS Magazine and War Horse News on the 2011 Steven Spielberg film. Fran is the founder of Hoofcare and Lameness Journal and writes a specialist Hoof Blog.? Fran wrote the WorldRides blog for the Hong Kong equestrian events of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Discover WEG blog for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010.You can follow Fran on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for more news about the horse world.