Equestrian anti-doping code proceedings

Freeths LLP have recently represented two clients in disciplinary proceedings commenced following alleged breaches of an equestrian showing society's anti-doping code.

The horse concerned tested positive for a prohibited substance after being randomly selected at a competition last year. The equestrian showing society referred the matter to its independent anti-doping code tribunal, which went on to consider that there was a prima facie case to answer and instigated disciplinary proceedings against the owner of the horse and its rider. Following strong arguments and evidence advanced by Freeths, the owner of the horse was formally released from the proceedings. In respect of the rider, powerful mitigation was presented in respect of the breaches alleged, and it was ultimately concluded by the anti-doping code panel that the presence of the prohibited substance in the sample taken from the horse had arisen in entirely innocent circumstances and not to achieve a competitive advantage. Consequently, the anti-doping panel handed down a penalty significantly below the starting point provided for in the anti-doping code.

If you have been charged with breaching of an anti-doping code, whether in an equestrian discipline or other sport, and require sports law advice, you can get in contact with Jessica Lees at jessica.lees@freeths.co.uk.


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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