13 July 2010

Where In The World Is The USEFEI Tribunal Ruling?

OK we see what you did there

So we knew these kids were up to something based on the wonky press releases, we just really needed to either see the actual ruling, or have them refuse to publish the ruling, to confirm it. If they had refused to promptly publish the ruling after we asked so nicely last Wednesday, the Carrot would have taken that as enough of an answer to publicly pose the questions immediately raised by the oddities in the press releases, in context with the oddity of how this whole thing has been handled. We never expected the actual ruling to see the light of day. But then. . .they published the ruling.

Oh, my.

Just as we suspected, the actual ruling did not match the bullshit served up in the press releases. Why on earth did you guys publish that? How stupid do you think we are? Either the USEFEI is far more stupid than we realized, or they are just incredibly brazen because they know it will never be reported on and they will never be called out on duping almost the entire FEI Nation into believing there was actually a judicial proceeding in favor of McLain Ward.

Also somewhat possible in context with certain FEI statements, this odd choice of publication could have been a passive aggressive move by the apparent dog end of the equation, resentful of the tail that somehow inexplicably got it to put on this whole charade instead of just having a simple FEI judicial proceeding like normal, non-crazy BFFs would do. We don't know; we're just wondering, because this thing is truly bizarre. It's one thing to come to an agreement to stay out of CAS on the hypersensitivity finding and DQ, it's quite another to chuck the entire legal system out the window and not even have an FEI hearing on the bogus retro-elimination. An FEI hearing is all in The Family and shouldn't be any big deal on something so obviously invalid as a retro-elimination for unfitness to continue in a class/round (termed "competition" in the FEI rules) that the horse already got done jumping in. Just read the jumping rule on eliminations and it's very clear the entire concept doesn't jibe with what was done. We don't get it, because unlike the hypersensitivity finding and ultimate disqualification, the second round retro-elimination seemed like a legal no-brainer, a technicality.

The FEI's own "prosecution," in the form of general counsel Lisa Lazarus, is on the record as saying it was incorrect because they had been told Sapphire was OK to jump, and thus it was a simple thing to reverse to avoid a long, expensive process. . .in other words, a no-brainer. So if something is such a no-brainer that some administrators on the prosecution side can "reverse" it despite having zero legal authority to touch event results or ranking points, how is it possible that Ken Lalo, either acting alone or with his merry band of Tribunalizers, cannot reverse it? Why not just have a quickie FEI Tribunal hearing and do things properly and legally? If it's such a no-brainer, it's not a long, drawn out expensive process that the FEI needs to avoid. That doesn't make any sense. The legal system requires a Tribunal ruling. CAS might be long and expensive on the DQ issue, but not this, at merely FEI level. It's not optional. You can even do it by email without having a hearing. Worked great for the Morrissey situation, in which Mr. Lalo felt the need to "cure" the ground jury's error of placing the guy 35th instead of disqualifying him. So they can't trot out "jurisdiction" and "field of play" now, because we know they will revise GJ decisions when it's a YouTube situation they want to. But one thing we've learned about the USEFEI, they love fake judicial proceedings. They apparently can't get enough of them. Oh my, this reminds us of another Situation. Don't you kids want to take things slow? You just got back together!

There was a lengthy analysis of this prepared for last Friday, but then the Carrot didn't want to ruin anybody's weekend. Just like there was a lengthy Carrot analysis planned for another Friday the 9th, but the Carrot didn't want to ruin that weekend for them either, so waited until Monday. Nobody reads the Carrot on weekends anyway, otherwise what on earth would they do at work? The parallels in these two Situations are stunning, really. The first one was worse, obviously, because they were doing the wrong thing to cover up for some right people who did some other wrong things. Here they are slightly unscrewing someone who definitely got screwed, but that could have been done without chucking the legal system out the window and duping the media and public. If you're going to insist on chucking the legal system out the window, we'd personally rather see some ranking points quietly returned under the table never to be spoken about, and of course "prize money" negotiations are always between the wronged party and Dubai the FEI. And we want McLain to get some "prize money," we really do. He deserves it. And the ranking points. That's not the point. It's this PR show and deception on top of it that is really troubling, because this is now a pattern of USEFEI behavior that should interest anyone concerned with proper governance. Strange and bad things happen when the FEI has a BFF. Just ask Bettina Hoy. Or Michael Morrissey. Or all the NFs that got screwed on the progressive list (for a few weeks anyway). Yes, there were others involved, but their senior NF personnel didn't know about it and sit back and let it happen to get what they wanted, the FEI constitution be damned. It was a low thing to do. What a bunch of hypocrites.

The Carrot was also sort of hoping to be scooped by the media on this. Surely somebody else read the ruling up there on the FEI website last week and saw that there was never any decision at all on the elimination? Especially after the conspicuous omission of a critical keyword from the FEI press release. And the conspicuous addition of a related keyword in the USEF press release. And extra especially when the FEI curiously drove a bunch of traffic to that page by announcing the non-fake Morrissey ruling on Friday, and instead of linking directly to the decision itself, they linked to the general webpage where all the decisions are listed, Now Featuring The Final Ruling On L'Affaire Sapphire! That was a bit odd. Normally they announce a ruling and link directly to the specific decision. Might be something to that, might not. But you can trust us to look into it.

More explanation of these inexplicable antics to follow. Like all fake USEFEI judicial proceedings, this is likely to remain a Carrot exclusive, so check back here.

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