FEI slams Rodrigo Pessoa for side-stepping suspension

  • The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has branded top show jumper Rodrigo Pessoa “unsportsmanlike” for obtaining an injunction allowing him to ride at the Global Champions Tour next week.

    Pessoa was recently banned from competing for 135 days — 4.5 months — after his horse tested positive in a random drug test during the 2008 Olympic Games.

    In a statement released this afternoon, FEI boss Alexander McLin said: “We understand [Pessoa] has obtained an injunction from a national court compelling the Brazillian National Federation to enter him in the event.

    “That he should take such action is highly disappointing and inappropriate for a sportsman of his position.”

    The FEI said in order to lift his suspension, Pessoa must apply to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) — which he has not yet done. The Global Champions Tour Final takes place in Sao Paolo in Pessoa’s home country of Brazil, from 15-19 October.

    Mr McLin added: “We will take all necessary further disciplinary action should local court orders or circumstances allow him to take part in the competition.

    “Any result obtained by him in an international competition while under suspension would be void.”

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