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November 30, 2009

USEF Supports FEI Drug Rule Change

Today, Nov. 30, U.S. Equestrian Federation officials issued a formal statement supporting the Fédération Equestre Internationale’s rule change to allow certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in FEI competition.

The “progressive list” allows for limited amounts of drugs already permitted in USEF competitions such as phenylbutazone, salicylic acid, flunixin (Banamine), acetycysteine, dichloroacetate (lactanase) and isoxuprine.

“By placing restrictions on the use of the NSAIDs to include low level administrations and continuing a rigorous program of veterinary examinations and inspections, the FEI is providing for equine welfare while still prohibiting the non-judicious use of these and other medications consistent with the Clean Sport initiative,” read the USEF statement.

However, USEF officials have concerns about trying to put the rule into effect by Jan. 1, and they encouraged the FEI to delay implementation until necessary procedures are in place.

“The addition of certain NASIDs to the permitted medication list will be new to many [national federations] and an education and communication plan needs to be implemented before the rule takes effect. FEI laboratories need to adopt standard identical protocols for testing so as to assure a level playing field for all athletes throughout the world.

“The USEF is also concerned that the premature implementation of this new rule may impact team participation at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010,” continued the statement. “Without a carefully prepared education and communication program, a premature implementation of this rule is risky and has high potential of causing a series of unintended consequences.”

Read the entire USEF statement here.

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