This is a joint letter from the President of the IJRC (International Jumping Riders Club), Rodrigo Pessoa and the IJRC Committee members
Ludger Beerbaum, Francois Mathy, Eleonora Ottaviani, Cayetano Martinez de Irujo, Peter Wylde, Steve Guerdat, Michel Robert, and Roberto Cristofoletti; Eventing riders Bettina and Andrew Hoy; the President of the IDRC (International Dressage Riders Club), Margit Otto-Crépin; IDRC board member and Clean Sport Commission member, Wayne Channon and the Chairman of the FEI Athlete’s Commission Chairman, Lee Pearson.
With the wholehearted support of the athletes we represent, we wish to make a declaration following the statement by the President of the FEI on the case of 5-time Olympic Gold Medallist from Dressage, Isabel Werth.
On Sunday (5 July 2009), the FEI President stated to various members of the media at Aachen CHIO that, in her opinion, the FEI as the governing body of horse sports should accept responsibility for the crisis that we now face as a family on the issue of doping in our sport. Whilst the independent FEI Tribunal will in all likelihood be giving high punishments for doping cases, she believes that athlete’s like Isabel Werth did not mean to cheat or enhance their performance but rather were victims of a system that is unclear.
We are heartened by her faith in us and we wish to state that we join her with our voices and our support in the fight against doping. The President of the FEI and all the athletes in our three Olympic sports have a clear vision of the future.
The FEI established the Ljungqvist Clean Sport Commission and the Steven’s Commission to investigate the extent of doping in our sport. As riders, we are represented in the Ljungqvist Clean Sport Commission and we are part of the effort to find a solution. We need clarity on exactly what the definitions of doping and medication are in our sport. We agree that being part of these discussions will bring us to this point of clarity and, after the necessary consultation period with us, we will accept punishments for any infringements in doping cases in our sport completely in line with the WADA code, for both horses and riders.
We have long felt that we have been unable to communicate with the FEI and that our international governing body had little or no understanding of what happened in our sports in their delivery on the ground. Failure to understand our requests for clarifications on doping and medication lists has been a longstanding concern to us and had this area been addressed earlier, and more thoroughly, then we feel that we would have never reached this point of crisis.
However, we support the work of the FEI President, and we believe in the Ljungqvist Clean Sport Commission as a vehicle to create a unified and lasting solution because we strongly believe that we would dishonour our countries, our sport, our horses and ourselves by cheating.
Photo copyrighted: Mary Phelps/Phelpsphotos.com
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