Since the U.S. Equestrian Federation announced it had resolved litigation with Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke over their alleged July 2015 GABA violation when arbitration revealed the laboratory made errors when handling the sample in that case, questions were raised about how the laboratory functioned.
On Feb. 1, USEF President Murray Kessler penned a letter to membership outlining steps being taken at all steps of the USEF Drugs & Medications process.
On Feb. 7, USEF CEO Bill Moroney released an additional letter that goes into more detail about changes made to all steps of the testing process:
Dear U.S. Equestrian Members,
As a follow up to the letter you received last week from U.S. Equestrian President Murray Kessler, I am writing to provide you with further detail regarding our actions and changes involving the USEF Drugs & Medications Program and Laboratory.
Effective last week, Laboratory Director Dr. Cornelius Uboh is no longer employed by the Federation. In addition, a laboratory technician has also left his position as well. The Federation will not immediately conduct a national search for a Laboratory Director. We have engaged outside consultants to work with us to map and implement our transition plans and accredited external equine testing laboratories have agreed to assist USEF to ensure that our program continues to operate uninterrupted.
We have two independent consultants from the United Kingdom coming to the U.S. later this month to conduct a thorough assessment of the USEF laboratory. The consultants will engage in a robust review of the laboratory processes, procedures, systems, equipment and training program and [will] provide a report to the Laboratory Strategic Assessment Task Force. We will update the membership no later than the Mid-Year Board of Directors meeting in June with a report from this task force.
We are developing and implementing an expanded training program for our laboratory employees. We will be participating in an exchange program whereby we send employees to other participating equine drug testing laboratories for supplemental training during their employment.
We are exploring opportunities to hire USEF testing veterinarians who would work exclusively for USEF. These teams would operate in addition to the veterinarians USEF contracts to collect samples at competitions, and these testing teams would be deployed to test at designated competitions. As previously noted, our testing personnel will receive additional training on the new prepackaged Berlinger horse testing kits which they will begin utilizing for sample collection at competitions. These new kits are supplied by the same company as testing kits utilized by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
We have updated and improved the USEF Drugs and Medications Guidelines and FAQ reference materials online. We will have printed brochures available at competitions going forward to help educate and inform members.
Please be reminded that last week we launched the USEF Integrity Program which provides our members with the opportunity to report issues in the field concerning testing as well as intelligence regarding conduct and practices that are contrary to the USEF rules and regulations. Those reports should be directed to Integrity@usef.org.
We appreciate your support during this period of transition for the USEF and our Drugs & Medications Program. We will continue to keep you updated on our work.
William J. Moroney
Chief Executive Officer
Read all the coverage of Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke’s suspensions in 2017, including each update, statements from them, responses from others and more.