Two of the Saudi Equestrian team's best medal hopes have been given the go ahead to compete again, after a peroid of suspension due to doping offences.
Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid and Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly were banned after their horses tested positive for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone) at two separate events. These drugs are not permitted for use during competitions.
Following the ban, the Saudi Equestrian team immediately made clear their intention to appeal, and today the International Court of Arbitration for Sport announced that the original eight month ban has been reduced to two months.
Following their voluntary suspension in February, both riders are allowed to start competing again with immediate effect.
With Khaled Al Eid already qualified for the London Olympic Games with Presley Boy, Abdullah Sharbatly now has until 17 June to qualify on his horse, Sultan V.
Sharbatly won individual silver at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010, while Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid won individual bronze at the Sydney Olympics.
A statement from the Saudi Equestrian read: "We would like to draw attention to the original findings of the FEI Tribunal which acknowledged, in both cases, that neither the rider nor the team had deliberately administered Bute to their horses, and reiterate that Saudi Equestrian is an unequivocal supporter of the FEI’s Clean Sport campaign."
Ziyad Abduljawad, the Managing Director of Saudi Equestrian, commented: “This has been an extremely difficult and testing time for the Saudi Equestrian team and I would like to praise the way in which both Khaled and Abdullah have handled themselves throughout the process."