A member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family has been handed a 27-month ban for doping — the second time he has been involved in controversy.
Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nayhan’s horse Glenmorgan tested positive to the opioid analgesic propoxyphene after winning the endurance’s President’s Cup in Abu Dhabi in February 2012. It has taken two years to process the case, for undisclosed reasons.
Sheikh Hazza told the FEI tribunal he had strict measures in his stables to avoid “contamination”.
However, the tribunal heard evidence that his vet administered Fustex, which contains propoxyphene, the day before the prestigious 100-mile race as a “pick-me-up” following Glenmorgan’s “hard” training session.
The tribunal was also concerned that Fustex was found to contain the banned steroid stanozolol in tests conducted at the Hong Kong Jockey Club in 2009.
Stanozolol was one of the steroids found in horses trained by Mahmood al Zarooni, who was banned from British racing for eight years last year.
The FEI added three months to the minimum two-year ban because of Sheikh Hazza’s previous doping violation, itself controversial. He won the 2005 World Championship in Dubai where, unusually, samples were processed immediately.
His horse, Hachim, tested positive to an anti-inflammatory and the organisers, Emirates International Endurance Racing, had him removed from the podium. This elevated Barbara Lissarague of France to gold and Sheikh Mohammed to silver.
The FEI later dismissed the case and rebuked the organisers for procedural errors. However, Hazza’s disqualification was reinstated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Fustex is made by South American company Chinfield as a muscle stimulant to be administered “2 hr before the event for maximum effect”.
Sheikh Hazza’s ban, decided by the FEI on 28 March, was backdated to the start of his provisional suspension, so he will be eligible to compete from June this year.