The FEI yesterday informed Danish Dressage Judge Leif Törnblad of his temporary suspension, effective immediately, for the remainder of 2017 due to his breach of Article 2 of the Codex for FEI Dressage Judges.
The Codex states: “A Judge must avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest. A judge must have a neutral, independent and fair position towards riders, owners, trainers, organizers and other officials and integrate well into a team.”
The FEI informed Mr Törnblad on 25 October 2017 that it was considering imposing sanctions in connection with an alleged breach of the Codex for FEI Dressage Judges arising from inappropriate comments made by him to media about current trainers and athletes, which called his neutrality into question.
The FEI has taken the decision after a thorough review, including hearing Mr Törnblad’s oral submission and reviewing his written statement to the FEI regarding the matter. Mr Törnblad has been informed that the FEI does not question either his integrity or his performance as a 5* FEI Dressage Judge.
The FEI’s decision is made in accordance with Article 7 of the Codex: “The FEI and the FEI Dressage Committee have the right to undertake disciplinary actions against judges who do not follow the Codex and the FEI Rules and Regulations. Such disciplinary actions may consist of: Warning letter, Temporary suspension, Demotion, Removal from the FEI Dressage Judges’ list.”
The suspension will be lifted at midnight on 31 December 2017.
Mr Törnblad may appeal this decision to the FEI Tribunal in accordance with Article 38.1 of the FEI Statutes and Article 165 of the FEI General Regulations.