‘One of the worst weeks of my life’: Olympic showjumper removed from suspension list

  • The Olympic showjumper Ali Nilforushan has been removed from the US Center for SafeSport suspension list.

    The Californian-based rider, trainer and event organiser had been temporarily suspended for “allegations of misconduct”.

    In a statement on 20 February Ali, who represented Iran as an individual at the 2000 Sydney Games, said the allegations made against him had not been of a sexual nature and he “completely denied” any wrongdoing. He said the incident related to a conversation at a competition that had lasted “less than five minutes” with an individual who “appeared inebriated”.

    “Fortunately three people, all of whom are willing to testify, witnessed the entire conversation and will confirm that the conversation has been falsely represented to SafeSport. I was not contacted, nor any of the witnesses, before this action was taken,” he said in the statement.

    Following the removal of his name from the suspension list, Ali told H&H he was “thrilled” to be back at work, supporting the people and horses who “count on him” every day.

    Continued below…

    “Defending a false accusation has resulted in one of the worst weeks of my life as my livelihood and reputation, both of which I cherish and have worked very hard to establish, were unfairly placed in jeopardy,” he said.

    “My wife Francie Nilforushan and I will be for ever grateful for the overwhelming outpouring of support from the equestrian community, a community that very much believes truth should prevail.”

    A spokesman for US Equestrian (USEF) told H&H Mr Nilforushan has been fully reinstated as a USEF member in accordance with the decision of the US Center for SafeSport.

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