Scandal uncovered in equestrian olympic qualifiers
Barely five months before the olympics, the FEI, the world equestrian federation, has uncovered a scandal and admitted its own mistakes.
In the fight for starting places for the games in tokyo has been manipulated in several tournaments, but the results have now been deleted by the FEI after the fact. "It’s a good sign that it got out," soenke lauterbach told the german press agency. The general secretary of the german equestrian federation (FN) commented on the uncovered wheeling and dealing: "it didn’t have much to do with fair play and the olympic idea."
The FN president sees it similarly. "I don’t want to reproach certain riders, but somebody wanted to cheat," commented breido graf zu rantzau: "nobody does that on a whim. It is good that the FEI has also acknowledged its mistakes."
Human error is "always possible," said world governing body president ingmar de vos, "but we will always accept our responsibility to correct it in the interest of our sport.". FEI wants to "tackle problems head on and make decisions based on fair play".
After protests from various associations and riders, the FEI had investigated tournaments in france and syria in recent weeks. A trick to get points for the olympic qualification stood out.
"The investigation of the three tournaments in villeneuve-loubet in december 2019 has revealed that, contrary to FEI regulations, two examinations were added after the closing date for entries, which paid for the olympic ranking and the world ranking," the FEI announced. And she admitted: "the updated timings of the three tournaments have been … Accidentally recognized by the FEI."
The trick was that only informed riders registered for the respective competitions. These competitions were deliberately organized for "a small circle, so that certain riders can collect points," explained the FN secretary general. At one of these competitions, for example, only five pairs competed.
The same trick was used at three other tournaments in villeneuve-loubet in january 2020. According to the FEI, the results achieved there have now also been "removed", and the riders will lose the points they gained there.
Affected by this is mathilda karlsson, who lives in gronwohld in schleswig-holstein. The 35-year-old swedish rider, who has been competing for sri lanka for three years, was competing in villeneuve-loubet, and the gronwohldhof stud still announced on 18. February on the internet site the successful olympic qualification. After the recalculation of the points, however, two of the 13 individual starting places for tokyo have now gone to taiwan and hong kong – not to thailand and sri lanka.
The FEI also found irregularities at three fall 2019 shows in damascus, where riders are competing despite the country’s civil war. According to the world federation, these rule violations have no effect on the olympic starting places. Syria and jordan were allowed to send one rider each to tokyo.
Three positive doping samples, on the other hand, have had an impact. Canada and qatar lost their olympic berths because team members were caught using banned substances at qualifying events. Followers are morocco and argentina.