Russia’s 2 Dressage Riders/Horses Cleared by FEI to Compete in Olympics

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Inessa Merkulova and Mister X. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Aug. 1, 2016

Two Russian dressage riders and three eventers qualified for the Olympic Games have been cleared by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to compete at Rio de Janeiro.

Ingmar de Vos, FEI president, said Monday that equestrian was not implicated in the report on doping in Russia and “we also have confirmation from the IOC that there have been no equestrian positives in the re-testing of athletes from Beijing 2008 and London 2012.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency, he said, “has no cases against Russian athletes in equestrian sport so we have no objective reason at all to prevent Russian equestrian athletes going to the Games.

“None of the five athletes on the Rio sport entries have had any previous doping offence, either internationally or nationally, and the FEI has now submitted the list of eligible Russian equestrian athletes and related documentation to the IOC.”

The dressage riders, among the total of 60 qualified for the Grand Prix starting next week, are:

–Inessa Merkulova, 51 years old and Mister X, 12-year-old Russian-bred Trakehner gelding, and

–Marina Aframeeva, 25 years old, and Vosk, 11-year-old Russian-bred Hanoverian gelding.

The IOC will act as the liaison between the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the FEI.

“The FEI has a policy of zero tolerance to any form of doping in equestrian sport and any athletes found to be in breach of either the WADA Rules for humans or the FEI’s own Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Rules for horses will be prosecuted,” Ingmar said. “The FEI fully supports the IOC Executive Board decision. We will of course implement the conclusions and directives from the IOC, and will continue to adhere to the WADA Code as we always have done.”

Russia's Marina Aframeeva and Vosk. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com