Outrage after suspended endurance trainer is seen helping British riders

  • Endurance GB has declined to comment on why a suspended UAE trainer was allowed to assist British riders at last week’s King’s Forest endurance international (12 July).

    The prominent Dubai-based trainer Anzaq Mehmood was seen using slosh bottles at crew points in photographs (not pictured above), which caused a storm on social media.

    However, his status has fallen into a “grey area.”

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    Crewing was not specifically addressed in FEI guidelines about the practical application of the UAE suspension. However, an existing rule prohibits suspended persons from stepping on to the field of play, and was applied in a 2011 case involving Maktoum trainer Ali Al Muhairi.

    Mr Mehmood is a Pakistani national, but subject to the suspension because he is administered by the UAE.

    A popular figure who has spent several spells in East Anglia, he collaborated with the Dutch team and prepared their World Equestrian Games silver medal-winning horse Laiza de Jamila for Marijke Visser.

    He has never been associated with the Maktoum-owned stables at the heart of the doping, welfare, horse-swapping and “phantom rides” scandals leading to the unprecedented UAE suspension in March.

    But he was dragged into controversy in April when providing a forged permit to compete from the Pakistan federation. In an email to the Pakistan federation, Mr Mehmood said he had asked a third party to obtain it for him. The Dutch national coach Emile Docquier was dismissed soon afterwards, for undisclosed reasons.

    A FEI spokesman said: “At this event [King’s Forest], [Anzaq Mehmood] wasn’t acting as a rider, trainer or official and did not need the authorisation of his home national federation to be on a crew.”

    EGB declined to ask a direct question about the appropriateness of accepting his assistance until the suspension is lifted. A spokesman said: “As this is an FEI issue we do not wish to comment.”

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