At a recent press conference, Breido Graf zu Rantzau, President of the German Equestrian Federation, discussed the possibility of a European boycott of the 2010 World Equestrian Games over the FEI’s decision to allow low levels bute and other NSAID’s at competitions. The article, published by the German Horses and Sports publication is written entirely in German. I used Google translator and a friend who studied German in college to produce this very imperfect translation (where is Gerd, my german dressage coach, when I need him?). The article is titled “New FEI-Doping Rules: threaten a European separatism from equestrian sport?”
“…the FEI seems to be a power that has underestimated the European equestrian nations. In the event of a secession from the Games of European federations – from which the FEI not only benefits but lives – the World Equestrian Games organizers and sponsors would not be able to stem the tide. The Europeans will not support the decision against a clear “no” to drugs.
The German President made no secret that a boycott of the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky next year has already been mentioned. He said the reasons of our own European Union would be the ultimate consequence. Negotiations with the German television stations were affected. In any case, it is currently top priority to try to continue with the FEI.
“We cannot help but be united,” explains the President, of the German position, “all the tournament organizers are behind us.” These developments were first brought to our attention by Fran Jurga of the Jurga Report.
“This decision obscures the distinction between therapy and subjecting unsound horses to the stresses of competition,” said a statement from the group of leading horse vets.
“Furthermore, we have grave concerns that horses competing while under treatment with pain-relieving medicines, are at an increased risk of musculo-skeletal lesions progressing to catastrophic injuries.” Horse and Hound
“The [pre-2004] thresholds for salicylates were 750 Âµg/ml in urine and 6.5 Âµg/ml in plasma. Experiences in testing had indicated that abuse of salicylates was possible, obtaining a clinical effect in the horse by administration of low doses without exceeding the threshold….an extensive study in 650 samples for the salicylate content and a subsequent bio-statistical analysis of the results indicated that a decrease of the threshold was possible, thereby making abuse of the substance more difficult”. Read more
My take: In the past few days, we have seen some troubling indicators that the turmoil surrounding the FEI’s decision to allow bute is dramatically escalating. Whatever your opinion regarding the use of drugs at and just prior to competition, the divisions within the FEI are much more significant than the English-speaking media has suggested up to now.