Sheikh Mohammed has demanded to know why the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) — an organisation headed by his wife, Princess Haya — delayed notifying him of a positive dope test on his horse, Tahhan.
On 6 April, Sheikh Mohammed suspended himself from competition and began an internal investigation after his own team discovered traces of two potentially performance-enhancing drugs in Tahhan. He competed the horse in CEI2* 120km endurance races in Bahrain and Dubai in January and February this year.
But has emerged that Tahhan was also tested by the FEI during the rides. The horse’s positive results were passed to the FEI legal team on 19 March — nearly three weeks before Sheikh Mohammed’s well-publicised statement that it was he who had volunteered the results.
A spokesman for the Sheikh said: “HH Sheikh Mohammed notified the FEI on 3 April 2009.
“The FEI notification to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) federation was on 6 April, 2009. HH Sheikh Mohammed received no communication from the FEI or from any other party, prior to 6 April.
“As a result of this chronological issue being raised by the media, Sheikh Mohammed’s legal team has written to the FEI requesting clarification of why earlier notification was not made to the UAE federation, and the procedure surrounding the use of the FEI website for cases of this nature.”
The progress of doping investigations are published in a “case-status stable” on its website, www.fei.org
An FEI spokesman said: “We introduced the table so the facts of all cases under investigation could be seen.”
Tahhan is one of nine UAE endurance horses under investigation for positive dope tests — to read more, see today’s issue of Horse & Hound (14 May).