Sri Lankan equestrian athlete Mathilda Karlsson says she will challenge the decision made by the equestrian world body, the FEI, to retrospectively cancel the ranking points awarded at competitions in Villeneuve-Loubet, France last December, which has resulted in her losing her spot to compete in July’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
She confirmed to the Daily Mirror that she would make an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausenne, Switzerland to reverse the decision.
In a press release on Monday, the FEI said “Following concerns raised about FEI Jumping Events in France and Syria where Olympic and Longines Ranking points were on offer, the FEI has investigated events at both Villeneuve-Loubet (FRA) and Damascus (SYR). The investigation into the three events at Villeneuve-Loubet in December 2019 has established that, contrary to the FEI Rules (Article 110.2.3 of the FEI General Regulations), two competitions counting for the Olympic and Longines Rankings were added at each event after the respective Definite Entries deadlines. The updated Schedules for these three events were submitted to the FEI by the French National Federation and were mistakenly approved by the FEI.”
“As a result, and in accordance with Article 112.3 of the FEI General Regulations, the FEI has retrospectively removed these additional competitions, meaning that athletes who participated will lose their ranking points from these competitions. The Olympic and Longines Rankings have been updated accordingly,” it also said.
Karlsson was quoted as telling the Equnews website that the decision made by the FEI was not fair, and she was being punished for what was effectively a mistake made by the governing body.
“As a rider there’s not much we can do. We can only check the schedule as a rider, we cannot do anything else. 16 days before the beginning of the show, the FEI Ranking classes were approved. I decided to accept the invitation of the CSI Villeneuve-Loubet and try to win my Ranking points. It was up to the FEI to check the schedule,” Karlsson was quoted as saying. “This is not fair at all.”
She went on to say that she has not received further clarity regarding the decision.
“The worst is I don’t get a response on what I (apparently) did do wrong. They just admit they made a mistake in approving the schedule, but rather than taking their responsibility, they ‘punish’ me.”
“I just want justice. To start with an answer why I am punished for a mistake the FEI made. If I knew I would just have travelled to Rihad, Liverpool and Frankfurt to (try) collect my points,” she also said.