There will have been red faces for the organisers of the World Equestrian Games (WEG) after a new promotional poster that appeared on Facebook last week featured Ali Mohammed Al Muhairi — the UAE rider handed down the longest bans of any rider in the history of endurance.
The montage had endurance as the centrepiece, with Al Muhairi clearly pictured on a grey. It was hastily removed after H&H and others alerted the FEI to the faux pas.
Al Muhairi, who trained at Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid al Maktoum’s Seeh Al Salaam stables in Dubai at the time of his doping offences, is serving his second ban for doping — the horse Karabil Kaiya Hai tested positive to testosterone, an anabolic steroid.
The ban was extended after he “disrespected” his suspension by entering the field of play — a paper published a picture of him on the winner’s podium while suspended.
A second offence, which allegedly took place at last year’s World Championships is awaiting a FEI tribunal hearing.
He was first banned in 2009 for 10 months when his ride Sudan tested positive to etorphine, an opioid analgesic thousands of times more potent than morphine. At that time, the FEI tribunal viewed “with abhorrence” the riding of a horse for 100 miles on that substance.
WEG told H&H the poster was designed in 2009/10 before the ban and that they would “be more careful” in future.
This news story was originally published in Horse & Hound magazine on 31 October 2013.