x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Emirati powerboat champion slams 'rash decision' by UIM

The Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) has handed down a two-year ban on Nadir bin Hendi, who says he will "fight till the last breath" and plans to appeal.

Nadir bin Hendi, the powerboat world champion, has vowed to 'fight till the last breath' to clear his name after being banned for two years for doping by the UIM.
Nadir bin Hendi, the powerboat world champion, has vowed to 'fight till the last breath' to clear his name after being banned for two years for doping by the UIM.

DUBAI // Nadir bin Hendi, the powerboat world champion, has vowed to "fight till the last breath" to clear his name, after being banned for two years for doping.

The Dubai-based throttleman, who won three successive Class One world titles from 2008, has been suspended until November 20, 2013 by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM).

However, bin Hendi insists the UIM have handled his case "unprofessionally" and plans to appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

"They took a rash decision by banning me," said bin Hendi, who was on course for a fourth world title alongside his Victory teammate Arif Al Zafeen before his failed test last year.

"A lot of [sportsmen] who were caught with this were banned for nine months, maximum nine months - not two years.

"We took this very seriously and wanted to keep the matter calm until we could resolve the problem, but unfortunately the UIM went out and made the matter public. People from outside knew the answer from the results before even I knew it. UIM are unprofessional for not dealing with this matter properly."

Bin Hendi is furious his case was made public by the governing body, following the Italian Grand Prix of the 2011 World Powerboat Championship.

He was provisionally suspended by the UIM's Anti-Doping Hearing Panel in November for the reported use of methylhexaneamine, and that ban has been confirmed as two years.

Bin Hendi believes the positive test emanated from his protracted use of a nasal spray called Xylo Comod. After breaking his nose in a jet ski accident in 2004, he opted to use the spray to aid his breathing, on the advice of his doctor, rather than undergo surgery.

He says the evidence of the laboratory testing which he has undertaken in his bid to clear his name suggests that, while the decongestant does not contain the banned substance, the constant use of it causes the body to produce it.

"I feel sorry, and honestly I am depressed for the way things are going in my future and my life," he said. "I have been racing for 20 years and never in my life have I intended to take anything illegal. Our sport doesn't need that stuff you find in a nasal spray.

"You want to be alert, and concentrated - you don't want to be drunk when racing these things."

Positive methylhexaneamine tests have been common in world sport in recent years. Duncan Murray, one of the UAE's leading rugby players, is serving a suspension for a failed test during last year's Asian Five Nations tournament.

As with bin Hendi, Murray was adamant about his innocence, saying the positive result came as a result of him consuming an over-the-counter energy drink which, unknown to him, contained the substance.

Bin Hendi, like Murray, hopes his case will increase awareness among others.

"I have never know in my life that I was taking a banned substance that creates this," bin Hendi said. "The awareness in Dubai should be more about this."

Bin Hendi and his legal team hope to have a hearing for their appeal at the Court of Arbitration by the end of this month.

"I'm going to fight it till the last breath," he said.

pradley@thenational.ae