Riders have been urged to read up on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) rules after three competitors tested positive for prohibited substances.
US eventers Hannah Sue Burnett, Jennie Brannigan and Alyssa Phillips were competing in the CIC3* at Ocala Jockey Club in Florida (17-19 November) when they tested positive for prohibited substances.
Jennie and Alyssa both said they believe the positive tests are as a result of medications that had been prescribed to them for legitimate medical conditions and were not taken in order to enhance their performances.
The Eventing Riders Association of North America (ERA of NA) is now calling on all competitors and their support teams to take time to understand the WADA rules.
“It is imperative that all equestrian athletes understand these rules,” said a spokesman for the riders’ association.
“[This includes] how to prepare for FEI events by knowing what is a prohibitive substance, how to notify FEI for approval of the medication, and how long the process is to be approved to compete or not compete on that substance.”
Equine and human competitors at all FEI events — not just at the top end of the sport — must comply with WADA and FEI doping rules.
Riders can apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) if they have an illness or condition that requires the use of medication on WADA’s prohibited list.
This must be fully completed and submitted to the FEI 30 days before competing.
Without this, a rider could receive a ban of up to four years from the FEI as well as sanctions from their national federation.
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“A valid prescription from your healthcare provider for one of these prohibited medications does not assure that a TUE will be approved,” added the ERA of NA spokesman.
“It is important that you inform your healthcare provider that you are an athlete that completes clean sport testing under WADA anti-doping rules, and discuss all prescribed medications and potential alternatives.”
US Equestrian team physician Mark Hart added: “All riders competing under FEI rules are subject to random, in-competition and out of competition drug testing.
“It is your responsibility to know if you are taking any medications on the FEI prohibited substance list.”
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