Gold medal in the balance after positive dope test

  • Bahrain may lose its world team gold medal after one of its horses tested positive for an anabolic steroid.

    The 11-year-old mare Hera Durances, ridden by Abdulrahman Mohammed Alzayed and trained by Muhammad Abbas Khalid, tested positive for the banned substance stanozolol and its metabolite 16-beta-hydroxystanozolol. The positive finding came following samples taken at the FEI Endurance World Championship in Butheeb, UAE (20 to 26 February).

    Hera Durances finished 18th individually, so any ramifications will not impact the individual medals. But her score counted towards Bahrain’s team total. And as only three of the five-strong team produced counting scores, if she is disqualified, the team will lose its medal.

    At present, France holds team silver, with Portugal in bronze and Italy fourth.

    The FEI clean sport database states that although anabolic steroids have been used in instances with “bona fide medical intent, [they] have also been used illicitly in equine sports to attempt to improve performance, mainly due to their effect of promoting muscular development”.

    “The use of anabolic steroids long term, or at high doses carries significant risks,” it adds.

    Stanozolol is listed as a banned substance, which means it is defined by the FEI as having “no legitimate use in the competition horse and/or have a high potential for abuse”. The FEI states that banned substances “are not permitted for use in the competition horse at any time”.

    An FEI spokesman told H&H: “The athlete, as well as the trainer, have provisionally been suspended as of 20 March 2023. Both now have 20 days to get back to the FEI. The horse has also been provisionally suspended until 19 May 2023.”

    She added: “While the proceedings are ongoing the FEI cannot provide any further information.”

    H&H has attempted to contact the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation for comment.

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...