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The Commission on Anti-Doping & Medication was set up in November 2008 in response to the high-profile doping cases from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and a subsequent appeal to the FEI President from a number of riders asking for greater clarity on the issue of doping and medication substances. The Commission was chaired by Professor Arne Ljungqvist, Vice-President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Chairman of the IOC Medical Commission. The new Commission was tasked with continuing the work initiated by the 2004 Doping and Medication Policy Taskforce.

The Clean Sport Commission was composed of Professor Ljungqvist (Chair), Christian Baillet (Owner Representative), Alex McLin (FEI CEO/Secretary General); Don Catlin (IOC Medical Commission Member), Timothy R. Ober (Team Veterinarian), Carl Bouckaert (Eventing Rider), Ken Lalo (Chair FEI Tribunal), Richard McLaren (Member of CAS), Sven Holmberg (1st Vice President and Chair Jumping Committee), John McEwen (Chair Veterinary Committee), Christophe Barbeau (Jumping Rider), Wayne Channon (Dressage Rider), Kristin Kloster Aasen (President Norwegian National Federation), Harald Muller (FEI Executive Director, Education & Standards) and Richard Johnson (FEI Director, Communications).

The Commission brought together representatives of every area of veterinary medicine, in addition to representatives of all the stakeholder sectors in horse sport and its governing bodies. Its objective was to establish the best possible system to prevent the use of methods or substances that influence the performance of a competition horse, while ensuring horse welfare at all times.

In order for the Commission to carry out its tasks, four focus groups were established with specific Terms of References. The Working Groups included members of the Commission as well as experts in the field representing different stakeholders.

- Laboratory Working Group: was asked to examine issues related to analysis of FEI samples and how these complied with FEI policy.

- Legal Working Group: was tasked with looking at the existing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Rules and how they might be amended, and the evidentiary issues.

- List Working Group: reviewed issues related to the Equine Prohibited Substances List and associated Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) matters, and how substances should generally be categorized.

- Communications & Education Working Group: was asked to establish a communications and education strategy to create an information platform for the Clean Sport Campaign.

Separately, in May 2009, the FEI set up an Ethics Panel as an independent commission to assess and investigate practices among members of the German equestrian team and its officials at the 2008 Olympic equestrian events in Hong Kong. Under the chairmanship of Britain’s former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens, the Ethics Panel was renamed the Stevens Commission. The Commission members were David O’Connor (President of the United States Equestrian Federation), Ken Lalo (Chair FEI Tribunal) and John Roche, FEI Director of Jumping.

The Stevens Commission remit was subsequently broadened to include a wider overview of equestrian sport to dovetail with the work of the Ljungqvist Commission and provide the FEI with a complete spectrum of changes to be implemented in the fight against doping.

The recommendations from the Stevens Commission, which were published in September 2009, supported and supplemented the work of the Ljungqvist Commission. The work of the two Commissions was then aligned at a meeting in October 2009 to produce the Joint-Commission Recommendations, which received overwhelming support at the General Assembly in Copenhagen on 19 November 2009, setting out a roadmap of revolutionary changes designed to transform the face of equestrian sport.

The 2009 General Assembly vote of approval for the Progressive List, permitting the restricted use of a small number of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), provoked considerable debate. Obviously this change in policy would affect equestrian sport at a number of levels and concerns were expressed in several different quarters. The FEI acknowledged that these concerns were all legitimate and that there was clearly a need for further debate on the issue.

The policy choice of whether the restricted use of NSAIDs should be permitted in competition was delayed until the 2010 FEI General Assembly (Taiwan), allowing for broader debate prior to the vote and a full review of the prohibited substances list, with all the relevant and necessary research. In the interim, the new FEI Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMR), the Equine Prohibited Substances List sent to National Federations on 20 October 2009 and the new Veterinary Regulations came into effect on 5 April 2010.

The period before the 2010 General Assembly saw the successful delivery of all the measures required by the cleansport campaign and also saw the FEI Congress on NSAID Usage in the Equine Athlete, a platform for the science and philosophy behind NSAID usage and allowed the various parts of the debate to be discussed in equine sport. At the 2010 FEI General Assembly, National Federations voted to adopt the FEI List Group's proposal that unsufficient scientific knowledge was available to permit the in-competition usage of NSAIDs at this time and that the FEI must have mechanisms in place to maintain the effect of substantive policy changes. An updated Equine Prohibited Substances List for 2011 was also authorised (to come into effect on 4 April 2011), alongside updates to the Veterinary Regulations and the EADCMRs (to come into effect on 3 January 2011).