Macken hits out at FEI

SHOW JUMPER Eddie Macken yesterday rejected he had a case to answer after the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) accused him of breaching anti-doping and medication control regulations at last year’s Dublin Horse Show.

This week, the FEI revealed the Canada-based Longford man as the rider at the centre of an investigation launched after the show, with FEI spokesperson Malina Gueorguiev saying: “The case is for refusal to submit [the horse Tedechine Sept] to sample collection.”

Macken confirmed yesterday he had received the file on the case, but he questioned why the investigation had taken eight months and why the FEI had revealed his name at this stage.

“I have received one query from them and I’m very surprised at this, absolutely. It is totally unjustified and I am so disappointed they have named me. They have thrown my name out there and it is an attack on my reputation. It is not like I am on a doping charge or something,” said Macken from a show in California.

It is believed that Tedechine Sept had been treated for an illness prior to the show and, after Macken brought this to the attention of officials, the mare was allowed to compete.

FEI rules allow for “retrospective authorisation of medication given before the start of an event, providing such medication will not affect the horse’s performance by the time it is due to compete”.

Macken yesterday felt it would be unwise to go into detail, but the 59-year-old said he was determined to fight the accusation, explaining that Tedechine Sept was available for testing throughout the duration of last August’s show at the RDS in Dublin.

“Of course I will absolutely defend this, but at the same time, I feel I have nothing to defend... my horse was at the show from Tuesday until Sunday, until after the grand prix, at 7pm, and nobody asked to perform a test,” said Macken, who was on the team that finished second in the nations cup at the Dublin, having returned to the squad amid much hype after a 10-year break.

“When this is over, I will be delighted to highlight the mess they [FEI] have made of this. It is so pathetic and how they handle their affairs must be made public.”

Macken has until April 17 to respond to the FEI, who will then forward the file to the FEI Tribunal, which will decide on what action, if any, to take.


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