LONDON, (FEI) – Para-Equestrian at the London 2012 Paralympic Games has continued the clean sport success of the London 2012 Olympic Games with the news that all human and equine samples taken during the Para-Equestrian competitions at Greenwich Park have tested negative for prohibited substances.
Para-Equestrian Dressage, the only equestrian discipline included in the Paralympic Games, has been a regular fixture on the Paralympic event schedule since Atlanta 1996.
In 2006, the FEI became one of the first International Federations to govern and regulate a sport for para-athletes when Para-Equestrian Dressage joined the ranks of the FEI’s seven disciplines. All equine athletes competing in the Paralympic Games are now tested according to the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping Rules.
“All human and equine samples taken during the Paralympic Equestrian events in Greenwich Park have been confirmed negative,” said Ingmar de Vos, FEI Secretary General.
“This is an extremely proud day for the FEI and the international equestrian community – equestrian sport has been clean at both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“Today’s news demonstrates the resounding success of the FEI Clean Sport campaign, which has been fully embraced by the international equestrian community. The International Paralympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency have also gone to great lengths to ensure a clean Games.
“The London 2012 Paralympic Games have been truly astonishing, touching the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world, and key to the success of future Games is this focus on clean sport and fair play.”
Record-breaking Paralympic Games
A total of 78 human and 77 equine athletes from 27 nations competed in London’s Greenwich Park.
London welcomed a record-breaking 4,250 athletes who competed in 503 events over 12 days at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, making them the biggest since the first Paralympic Games took place in Rome in 1960.
Over 120,000 tickets were sold for the six Para-Equestrian Dressage competition days, and with additional tickets sold at the gates of Greenwich Park, the previous ticket sales record of 33,000 at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games was easily surpassed.
In total 2.7 million tickets were sold for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, compared to the previous record of 1.8 million for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
Pictures of this year’s Paralympics were shown to a global audience of over a billion people in over 100 countries, thanks to the International Paralympic Committee’s broadcast partnerships in place around the world and its own broadcast system ParalympicSport.TV.
“The London 2012 Paralympic Games were simply the biggest and the best yet for many reasons,” explained International Paralympic Committee President Sir Philip Craven.
“To ensure the cleanest Games possible, there was the most robust testing programme in place at any Olympic and Paralympic Games, and this has proved to be a winning formula.
“We are delighted that the equestrian events at Greenwich Park were clean. Clean sport is fundamental to the future development of all sports, whether they are already in the Paralympic programme or want to one day join us.
“Clean sport at the Paralympic Games is also the best example we can make to youngsters who dream of representing their country in the future.
“The Para-Equestrian athletes who competed in London have inspired warm welcomes on returning home, and the International Paralympic Committee hopes to see them again at Rio 2016, for the first Olympic and Paralympic Games to take place in South America.”
The number of FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage events has increased by 120% between 2008 and 2011, and as the popularity of the sport grows the number of events being held around the world is steadily increasing.