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[RC] IntNewsGroup:USET Explains Its Withdrawal of USOC Challenge - Lori & Rick Stewart


Contact:           Marty Bauman (508) 698-6810,

USET Explains Its Withdrawal of USOC Challenge

Maintains Commitment to Mission of Serving U.S. Athletes

Gladstone, NJ January 16, 2003 On January 15, the United States Equestrian
Team (USET) withdrew its Challenge before the U.S. Olympic Committee
(USOC) in order to facilitate a more rapid resolution to the equestrian
governance dispute.  Believing it could best serve this country s
equestrian athletes, as it has for more than a half-century, by defusing
the extremely adversarial situation that has prevented USA Equestrian and
the USET from being able to find common ground to resolve this matter, the
USET withdrew the Challenge.

What matters most to virtually everyone in the sport of equestrian is that
the turmoil that has been hurting all of us ends by bringing the sport
into compliance with the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, said
USET President Armand Leone, Jr.

The USET s withdrawal of the Challenge is in no way connected to the
recent decision of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Leone continued.
Nowhere in the judge s decision did the court find that the USET lacked
proper authorization or proper documentation to continue with the
Challenge.  However, complaints against USA Equestrian that athletes have
filed with the USOC, as well as the Complaint filed by the USET, have put
the issues of non-compliance squarely before the USOC Hearing Panel.  In
addition, the USOC Membership and Credentials (M&C) Committee, in a
separate proceeding, is also reviewing USAE s non-compliance with the
Sports Act.

Since the matter of getting equestrian into compliance with the Sports Act
is being addressed on these two fronts, the challenge was not playing a
role in expediting a resolution.  Given that it was no longer necessary,
the USET withdrew its challenge.  We hope this step will help to create an
atmosphere that will assist in resolving the equestrian governance dispute.

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