2 UAE equestrian officials banned in endurance race scandal

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The International Equestrian Federation has banned two United Arab Emirates federation officials for wrongdoing in endurance racing.

The sanctions announced Friday bar Hallvard Sommerseth, a veterinarian, and administrator Abdul Aziz Sheikh from working at the World Endurance Championships hosted by Dubai in December.

The UAE federation has been under scrutiny for more than a year over horse deaths, doping and faked races in endurance. The long-distance discipline is popular in the Middle East.

The FEI says Sommerseth is banned from its events for two years through April 15, 2017.

Sommerseth, formerly the federation's head vet, was ''grossly negligent'' by being involved in events where ''duplicate results were submitted,'' the FEI says.

Sheikh, the federation's former head of endurance, let races proceed ''without accurate timing'' and is banned for 18 months.

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