The Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) Tribunal has suspended USA Jumping athlete Andrew Kocher for ten years, and disqualified him from eight events between June 2018 and November 2019, for using electric spurs on horses. The athlete has also been fined CHF (Swiss franc) 10,000 and ordered to pay costs of CHF 7,500.
The FEI Legal Department notified the athlete on June 29, 2020 that an investigation had been opened following allegations about electric spur use reported to the independent Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU). It was alleged that Mr Kocher had used electric spurs on a number of FEI registered and national horses in international and national events, and during training.
Following the investigation, the FEI formally opened disciplinary proceedings against Mr Kocher in October 2020. He was provisionally suspended on October 28, 2020 pending a hearing before the FEI Tribunal, and this period will be credited against the full suspension, meaning that the athlete is ineligible through to October 27, 2030.
During the suspension the athlete is barred from participating in or attending, in any capacity, including as a spectator, any competition or event that is authorized or organised by the FEI or any national federation.
The sanctions also include disqualification of all results obtained at events for which the FEI Tribunal was provided with photographic evidence establishing the athlete’s use of electric spurs. The eight events are: CSI4* Hickstead (GBR), June 21-24, 2018; CSI3* Lexington (USA), May 14-18, 2019; CSI2* Lexington (USA), May 22-26, 2019; CSI5* Calgary (CAN), June 5-9, 2019; CSI5* Calgary (CAN), June 27-29, 2019; CSI3* Traverse City (USA), August 7-11, 2019; CSI3*-W Columbus (USA), October 2-6, 2019; and CSI4*-W Toronto (CAN), November 5-9, 2019.
These sanctions form the operative part of the FEI Tribunal decision. The full reasoned decision will be published here in due course. Parties can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 21 days of receipt of the full decision.