(PRWeb UK) September 3, 2009
Lord Stevens, the former Chief of the Metropolitan Police, today announced recommendations to combat doping within equestrian sport and to ensure the integrity of its Governing Body.
As the Chair of the Stevens Commission of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) - the sport's governing body - Lord Stevens today announced the Commission's independent recommendations addressing a number of key issues in equestrian sport. These support and supplement the work of the Ljungqvist Commission for Clean Sport.
The Stevens Commission's key recommendations include:
- Integrity Unit: the setting up of an independent Integrity Unit to maintain the status of a corruption free environment in the FEI and its sports.
- Professionalisation of the Sport: A greater number of roles should be professionalised by having paid officials.
- Protocols: Urgent review of protocols for all anti-doping testing, including an assessment of conflicts of interests.
- Stable Security at Competition Venues: More sophisticated and effective stable security at FEI Championships and CSIOs.
The Stevens Commission was set up in May 2009 as an independent commission to assess and investigate practices among members of the German equestrian team, and its officials, at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Its remit was subsequently broadened to include a wider overview of equestrian sport to dovetail with the work of the Ljungqvist Commission and provide the FEI with a complete spectrum of changes to be implemented in its fight against doping. The four-man Commission is chaired by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens (GBR). The three Commission members are David O'Connor (USA), Sydney Olympic champion and President of the United States Equestrian Federation, Ken Lalo (ISR), chairman of the FEI Tribunal and President of the Israel Equestrian Federation, and John Roche, FEI Director of Jumping.
The FEI Clean Sport Commission, chaired by Prof. Arne Ljungqvist (SWE), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Vice-President and Chairman of the IOC Medical Commission, was established in November 2008. It has brought together representatives of all areas of veterinary medicine, in addition to representatives of all the stakeholder sectors in horse sport and its governing bodies. Its objective is to establish the best possible system to prevent the use of methods or substances that influence the performance of a competition horse, while ensuring horse welfare at all times. In addition it will bring the FEI as a governing body in line with the WADA Code.
Lord Stevens commented, "The Commission was established in order to focus on the sport's integrity. The Commission has endorsed a number of strong recommendations that it believes will provide clarity and improve governance and compliance issues. The recommendations, along with other ongoing efforts within the equestrian family, aim to reduce improper practices in the sport and lead it into a new era."
FEI President, HRH Princess Haya has greeted the recommendations with enthusiasm. "The Stevens Commission has made it absolutely clear that the FEI must turn a new leaf in order to guarantee its community a clean and uncorrupt product. The Stevens Commission and the Ljungqvist Commission have both painted a picture that illustrates how negligent we have been in this area thus far and our governing body is completely committed to rectifying the problems we now face, for the benefit of our athletes, our community and our public."
The recommendations will be put forward for approval by the National Federations at the FEI General Assembly in Copenhagen, Denmark (15-20 November) and implementation by 1 January 2010.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
A copy of the complete Stevens Commission recommendations is attached.
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