Two more Middle Eastern endurance riders have been suspended for two years each, after their horses tested positive having allegedly consumed Fustex — a supplement that the FEI has repeatedly warned against.
Horses competed by Mohammed Shafi Al Rumaithi (Royal Des Fontaines, UAE) and Ali Yousef Al Kubaisi (In Situ, Qatar) both tested positive to propoxyphene, a narcotic pain reliever. Al Rumaithi’s owner Jumaa Mohamed Khamees Alromaithi was also banned for two years after admitting buying Fustex.
Fustex is made by the Argentinian online seller Chinfield S.A.
The FEI first cautioned that Fustex may contain banned substances in 2012. It issued another warning last month after Sheikh Hazza Al Nayhan of Abu Dhabi successfully appealed against the length of his 27-month suspension in another Fustex-related case (news 23 July).
Meanwhile, the FEI has written to the Qatari federation expressing concerns about a recent spike in positive tests by Qatari endurance riders.
Since the start of its 2014/15 winter season, seven Qataris have been disciplined through the fast-tracked “administrative sanctions process” and five have been referred to Tribunal.
This frequency exceeds the occurrence of positive tests in the UAE during its doping peak of 2010-2011.
One pending Tribunal hearing will involve the British-bred Next In Line At Grangeway, twice winner of the Llanwrtyd Wells Man v Horse race with former owner Betti Gordon.
Next In Line was sold to France, then on to Qatar in 2014, where he has completed just two of his six FEI starts. He tested positive to dexamethasone after finishing second in a young riders’ 90Km ride in Doha this April.