The international organization said it needed to clarify its procedures. According to the FEI, a positive sample is the beginning of the process. Then it is the FEI’s duty to prove to the Tribunal that there has been a violation of the Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations.
“It is the FEI’s role to ensure the full integrity of competition and fair play, while at the same time ensuring that the rights of the athlete are fully protected,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said. “… It is of course regrettable, on every level, whenever there is a positive finding, but the FEI has to follow due process in the interest of all parties involved.”
When a provisional suspension is imposed following a positive finding, the Person Responsible (PR) can apply for a preliminary hearing to request lifting of the provisional suspension.
The PR has the right to contest the positive finding, including challenging the sample collection and analysis procedures to the Tribunal. The individual also has the right to provide an explanation for the presence of the prohibited substance in order to reduce or eliminate the applicable sanction.
The finding of whether there has been a rule violation can only be made when the case has been heard by the Tribunal. It is only when the Tribunal confirms in its Final Decision that there is a rule violation. Then an automatic disqualification from the competition can be applied. Other sanctions may also be imposed by the Tribunal.