The U.S. Equestrian Federation’s flawless record of winning court challenges to its anti-doping program continued last week, after the New York State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the organization in the case of Archibald Cox’s penalties for violations of the organization’s Drugs and Medications rules, which prohibit excessive levels of GABA, a calming agent, in a horse’s system.
Following a June 2015 hearing in which it was found he had violated the rules, Cox was issued a five-month suspension and a $5,000 fine. Subsequently, he filed a proceeding against the USEF in the state of New York, challenging the hearing committee’s decision. In its ruling, the court held that the committee’s decision was supported by substantial evidence.
“The USEF has never lost a challenge in court related to its anti-doping program, which protects horse welfare,” stated USEF General Counsel Sonja Keating. “The USEF works diligently to eradicate doping in equestrian sport. We take the issue of doping very seriously. Our anti-doping protocol and the Drugs and Medications program go to the core mission of the USEF – to provide access to and increase participation in equestrian sports at all levels by ensuring fairness, safety, and enjoyment.”
Cox did not respond to a request for comment.