POSTED: August 4th 2009

Six-month ban for Sheikh Mohammed

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: Sheikh Mohammed has been banned for six months from International Equestrian Federation endurance events after being found guilty of doping by an FEI tribunal.

Tahhan, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, was ridden by him in two endurance races in January and February. The FEI, in a statement, said: “In both events, the horse was ridden by Sheikh Mohammed who is the person responsible."

The Dubai ruler, who is also the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, had denied any knowledge of any illegal substances having been administered and appeal. He was also fined £1,650 with £860 costs. Trainer Abdullah bin Huzaim was also fined and banned for a year after admitting to doping horses for the two 120km races in Dubai.

The FEI said its testers had detected prohibited substances, a drug with calming and analgesic effects and a steroid. Princess Haya of Jordan, Sheikh Mohammed's wife, who is president of the FEI, stepped aside for the duration of the hearing.

In a submission to the disciplinary committee, the sheik said he has an interest in some 700 endurance horses and cannot be involved in the medication protocol of each. He had been presented with the horse on both occasions only minutes before the race started and had been assured everything was in order.

Under FEI rules the rider is responsible for drugs infringements.

The tribunal said it had taken into account the fact that the sheikh had withdrawn from all such competition in April after his own tests on the horse had revealed drug traces. The ban ends on October 3.

Keywords · International Equestrian Federation · FEI · Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum · Dubai · United Arab Emirates · Abdullah bin Huzaim · Princess Haya of Jordan

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