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View Full Version : Rodrigo Pessoa's horse tests positive now



zagafi
Sep. 4, 2008, 02:26 PM
From The Horse:

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has received notification of an additional doping/medication case at the 2008 Olympic Games. A test carried out on Rufus, mount of Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil, following the individual show jumping final revealed an A sample that tested positive for the banned substance nonivamide, part of the capsaicinoid family. This is classified as a "doping" prohibited substance given its hypersensitizing properties, and as a "medication class A" prohibited substance for its pain relieving properties.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 4, 2008, 02:39 PM
Reuters/Guardian (UK) Tuesday September 2 2008 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/feedarticle/7767828)


HONG KONG, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The horse of Brazilian rider Rodrigo Pessoa returned a positive doping test during the Olympic Equestrian competition last month, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) said.

Pessoa's horse Rufus tested positive for nonivamide, a banned substance known for its hypersensitising and pain relief properties, the FEI said in a statement. Pessoa and Rufus finished fifth in the individual showjumping final in Hong Kong.

The B sample is due to be tested on Tuesday.

The FEI said this was the sixth and final positive doping case to come out of the Olympic equestrian competition in Hong Kong.

"In terms of testing at the 2008 Olympic Games, all results have now been received, and there are no remaining cases to be reported," the FEI added.

Four riders, including Norwegian bronze medallist Tony Andre Hansen, were suspended from the Olympic Games after their horses returned positive tests for capsaicin, a chilli derivative banned for its hypersensitising and pain-relieving properties.

The three others were Denis Lynch of Ireland, Bernardo Alves of Brazil and Germany's Christian Ahlmann.

Last Thursday, the FEI said tests on the B samples for all four horses confirmed the initial findings. The FEI said it would make a final decision in the first week of October on whether the Norwegian jumping team would be stripped of their bronze medal.

The horse of American dressage rider Courtney King also tested positive for the banned substance Felbinac.


With his 10-year-old gelding, Rufus, Pessoa finished fifth in Hong Kong two weeks ago but the 'A' sample taken from his horse following the individual final revealed the presence of nonivamide, a substance similar to the chilli pepper derivative capsaicin which was found in Irishman Denis Lynch's ride Lantinus along with three other show jumping horses including fellow-Brazilian Bernardo Alves' ride Chupa Chup.

Nonivamide can be manufactured synthetically and is used as a food additive to spice up seasonings and flavourings. It is also an active ingredient in pepper-spray used for riot control.

Least we forget with some irony now that Rodrigo finished in the silver medal position behind Cian O'Connor at the 2004 Olympics and, following O'Connor's disqualification due to a positive test for his horse, Pessoa was awarded the gold medal when it was re-distributed at a special presentation in Rio de Janeiro in 2005.

poltroon
Sep. 4, 2008, 06:58 PM
Sigh.

I suppose I can be grateful that this is the last result, that they promise no more.

When are the hearings?

ellemayo
Sep. 4, 2008, 07:10 PM
This may be a stupid question, but I don't understand why all of these riders are doping up their horses, when common sense would tell us that obviously they're going to be drug tested. Don't they get a list of the legal/illegal substances, and why on earth would they risk it?

gottagrey
Sep. 4, 2008, 11:50 PM
This may be a stupid question, but I don't understand why all of these riders are doping up their horses, when common sense would tell us that obviously they're going to be drug tested. Don't they get a list of the legal/illegal substances, and why on earth would they risk it?

Many of these substances are banned substances and while the FEI and media refers to it as DOPING, the list of banned substances is extensive and it seems now one has to be not only a top level rider but an herbalist, chemist, and pharmacologist in order to avoid any postive "DOPING" Findings

Tonight I went into a tack shop needing the old abscess arsenal, while I was there I decided to check out some of the labels of various products - most of these were topical agents - like shampoo, MCNasty Crib/chew stop,and linements - Would it surprise you to know that everyone of the products I picked up contained a banned substance. Oh Lavendar shampoo how nice for my horse - banned; McNasty so he'll stop chewing the barn door or his 5th rambo - banned substance.

Did you know that Capsiacin is a dirivitive of paprika? As are Chili Peppers..If you didn't and gave your horse or put on your horse someting containing Paprika or Chili peppers you too could have a positive test! IF you share certain spicey snack foods w/ your horse as I did - could test positive. Certainly giving your horse a BBQ potato chip is not DOPING but to the FEI it is... Personally I think it's gotten a bit over the top. Now I'm wondering if this is some Plot to keep the equestrian events out of the Olympics in London...

J-Lu
Sep. 5, 2008, 12:00 AM
This may be a stupid question, but I don't understand why all of these riders are doping up their horses, when common sense would tell us that obviously they're going to be drug tested. Don't they get a list of the legal/illegal substances, and why on earth would they risk it?

Personally, I think the science behind the testing has outpaced the products on the market and the ability of vets to keep up with it. The tests are very sensitive. I can't imagine that a rider of the caliber and experience of Rodrigo would intentially drug his horse.

Equestrian sports are SUCH a staple of the UK - I can't believe for a moment that the UK wouldn't fight hard to keep them in.

ellemayo
Sep. 5, 2008, 12:15 PM
Wow I had no idea that things have gotten so strict! I guess avoiding all of the banned substances has become a full time job...

poltroon
Sep. 5, 2008, 12:19 PM
I agree with J-Lu, and I think it's important to remember that the jumpers are all being charged with their horses having some derivative of chile pepper in their systems - ie, salsa, paprika, etc. The FEI is suggesting it was spread on their legs, but there are many other possibilities, including the "no chew" substances you spray on blankets, bandages, etc. Paprika will test even though to my mouth it is not at all spicy.

As my husband said, "They're surprised to find hot peppers? In CHINA?"

I don't know, but it appears that they unveiled a more sensitive test and were specifically searching for capsaicin for the first time at the Olympics.

In Courtney King-Dye's case, it's likely that there was a mistake made during all the fuss to stabilize Mythilus when he arrived in Hong Kong in atrial fibrulation.

In none of the cases is it likely there was any significant performance enhancement or advantage, or any harm to the horse. (Legs are/were separately inspected after each round.) This is unlike the case of Cian O'Connor, where the drug found was a mood-altering substance, or even the steroids that have been found in the past, where you can make a case for long term inappropriate use.

gottagrey
Sep. 5, 2008, 12:51 PM
I
As my husband said, "They're surprised to find hot peppers? In CHINA?"

I don't know, but it appears that they unveiled a more sensitive test and were specifically searching for capsaicin for the first time at the Olympics.

.

That was my thought exactly ! It's possible that some kind of cross contamination occurred. So the lab techs go out to lunch/have carryout - would they really know that chili peppers might be a banned substance??

J. Turner
Sep. 5, 2008, 12:55 PM
It's ridiculous that a substance legitimately used as a supplement for the coat (paprika) or no chew substances. Not that want people using stinging agents to pole their horses. (Or not pole, but for when they hit a fence.)

Maybe they should take dental records or growth plate xrays of the Chinese gymnasts instead. Good for the 33 year old Ukranian/Russian? who now is in Germany and for Nastia Lukin at the grand old age of 18 for kicking butt.

Foxtrot's
Sep. 5, 2008, 01:03 PM
Sad thing is that although the FEI will say words to the effect that they did not think a rider intended to "dope" his horse, the rules say that a horse has to be disqualified. At least a rider will come out with his reputation fairly intact, even if it is not a medal.

In the Marion Jones case, they have not yet re-awarded the medals - they don't know how far the doping went down the line. And that was in Sydney.

If an athlete wishes to know if a substance is banned, they just have to go to the website (WADA, I guess) and search out the name of the product. I think they are wary to say a product is approved in case the manufacturer adds something inappropriate.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 5, 2008, 01:44 PM
That was my thought exactly ! It's possible that some kind of cross contamination occurred. So the lab techs go out to lunch/have carryout - would they really know that chili peppers might be a banned substance??

That scenario seems exceedingly weak and suggests the lab is run by a few slackjawed unprofessional folks.

It would be right up there with a sad argument of: finding traces of cocaine on circulated currency and thus a person was touching bills then a horse and that's how a positive reading must've happened. Sure, uh yea that's the ticket ...

YankeeLawyer
Sep. 5, 2008, 03:01 PM
That scenario seems exceedingly weak and suggests the lab is run by a few slackjawed unprofessional folks.


I am not speaking to this case specifically, but just fyi sample and lab contamination DOES occur, even in respected laboratories. Modern tests are very, very sensitive.

aptly_asked
Sep. 5, 2008, 03:30 PM
I know in TB world, the testing can determine minute amounts (single molecule basically), BUT there are thresholds based on scientific estimates of a level that can have an effect on a horse's performance.

There are outright banned substances though that "at any level" would result in suspension (i.e. EPO).

I've heard of trainers being called into the stewards and warned that their horse tested for an allowed veterinary drug, but it was just under the allowable threshold, so they were warned.

I think the FEI's rules haven't caught up with technology and/or common sense. The use of cayenne pepper on bandages is a common way to stop chewing, and some horses develop a taste for it.

Paul - "Aptly Asked"

rabicon
Sep. 5, 2008, 04:03 PM
My only question is WHY???

This is not some backyard show and they KNOW the horses are going to be tested so why do it??

This is what I can't figure out and maybe someone can help me understand. Do they just think they will be the lucky one that squeeks by and the test results will be wrong? I just can't fathom why.

canyonoak
Sep. 5, 2008, 04:23 PM
www.sms-pferdenews.de

is now reporting that Pessoa's horse's B-Sample was (surprise!!) positive for the capsaicin derivative, nonivamide.

One big possible argument is going to come when the FEI tries to figure out if the riders can be shown to have used the capsaicin stuff on the horses' legs--in which case, am sure the entire book will be thrown at that rider-- or whether the rider was using the stuff on horse's back,etc., as way to make horse more comfortable, which then becomes a medication offense rather than D-O-P-I-N-G.

Only half the book thrown in that case.

Despite the Inquisition's (excuse me, FEI"s) insistence on 'fast track'. the defense lawyers have all been pointing out that FEI was, ah, rather tardy in actually sending out any of the lab analysis, etc etc...so the Sept. 5-6-7 look to be moved back to Sept. 25-6-7.

OTOH, from THIS release above, it looks as though CK-D may indeed keep to the Sept., 7 hearing date.

Which leads me to believe that her sentence will be extremely light--ie, no one able to figure out how horse got Felbinac, some kind of minimal costs assigned to defendant and suspension time to include time since test made public,yadda-yadda.

In other words, I am going out on a limb now and saying the FEI recognizes that it screwed up here and will bury the case as fast as possible.

Who knows? They have 5 more fish to cook, and that should satisfy their lord and master, WADA...they can afford to look magnanimous once.

Foxtrot's
Sep. 5, 2008, 07:48 PM
Mistakes can and do occur. But for most seasoned riders/athletes they are very, very aware of the rules and regulations and if they get caught with a banned substance 90% of the time they would have known about it. It is a perilous slope they are on. However, as in Silken Laumann's case she was approved to take cough medicine, but when she went and purchased it over the counter she bought Benelyn 'DM' and the DM is not approved. Simple and explainable,
and she was lucky they understood that. She came out unscathed
and is an excellent role model now.

Myself, I think that there should be a level where if minute amounts, that could have no benefit to the horse whatsoever, are found it is not punishable. Even the track is looking now to zero tolerance. Some substances take a very long time to disappear from the system. It's crazy.

slc2
Sep. 5, 2008, 08:08 PM
capcaisin is a pain killer, it wasn't necessarily present to prevent chewing.

Fixerupper
Sep. 6, 2008, 12:16 AM
Mistakes can and do occur. But for most seasoned riders/athletes they are very, very aware of the rules and regulations and if they get caught with a banned substance 90% of the time they would have known about it. It is a perilous slope they are on. However, as in Silken Laumann's case she was approved to take cough medicine, but when she went and purchased it over the counter she bought Benelyn 'DM' and the DM is not approved. Simple and explainable,
and she was lucky they understood that. She came out unscathed
and is an excellent role model now.

Myself, I think that there should be a level where if minute amounts, that could have no benefit to the horse whatsoever, are found it is not punishable. Even the track is looking now to zero tolerance. Some substances take a very long time to disappear from the system. It's crazy.

The FEI labs do not test for drug residues...they use the ELISA method...which essentially tests for antibodies to medications. It is invaluable for drugs like anabolics, resperpine, and depo cortisone which can be given literally months before competition and still have 'performance enhancing' effects. What I do not understand is why anyone cares whether a horse got NSAIDs, let's say bute, more than 10 days before competition. In the FEI veterinary rules it actually states that the withdrawal time for topical medication is very unpredictable (that would include Surpass, Felbinac and in all likelihood capsaicin as well).
There is a pretty short list of medications which the FEI considers to be 'legitimate' with some sparse information on 'withdraw' times. One can argue that in the case of these Olympics, because of the extensive quarantines there should have been sufficient time to withdraw any medication...but without any real study (particularly with the caveat that topicals are unpredictable) does anybody really have any idea what a reasonable withdraw time actually is? If the medication is not actively in the horse's system at the time of testing...only that the meds were given at some unknown time in the past...is it actually legitimate to call it DOPING?
I understand (and agree) that the FEI should be all about the wellfare of the horse, and that they need to be and appear to be proactive. However it seems this is a case of technology warping the concept.

slc2
Sep. 6, 2008, 06:11 AM
NSAIDS are powerful drugs with performance enhancing effects, they are not 'aspirin' or 'bengay', I think because they are in such wide use under USEF rules we don't think they do much. In fact, NSAIDS have profound effects on arthritis and inflammation of a number of types, thereby functioning as a pain reliever, and they ARE used to mask lameness and they certainly can do that.

While the USEF's drug policies are different toward NSAIDS, I can see why the FEI's are as strict as they are. The FEI horses are not supposed to be oldsters with arthritis getting nursed along, or horses with chronic problems. The level of work isn't appropriate for such horses, not only that, but if NSAIDS have recently been given anyone can argue the performance was enhanced and the placing was not fair. The policy is 'zero drug tolerance', basically, and I think that's why basically, the medications allowed are very limited, and any veterinary treatment during the competition has to be documented.

I think the drug policy may seem unfair or the withdrawal times not well enough tested, and I'm sure there is room for improvement, but I think no matter what, a very strict drug policy overall is needed and justified.

ridgeback
Sep. 6, 2008, 07:17 AM
The FEI labs do not test for drug residues...they use the ELISA method...which essentially tests for antibodies to medications. It is invaluable for drugs like anabolics, resperpine, and depo cortisone which can be given literally months before competition and still have 'performance enhancing' effects. What I do not understand is why anyone cares whether a horse got NSAIDs, let's say bute, more than 10 days before competition. In the FEI veterinary rules it actually states that the withdrawal time for topical medication is very unpredictable (that would include Surpass, Felbinac and in all likelihood capsaicin as well).
There is a pretty short list of medications which the FEI considers to be 'legitimate' with some sparse information on 'withdraw' times. One can argue that in the case of these Olympics, because of the extensive quarantines there should have been sufficient time to withdraw any medication...but without any real study (particularly with the caveat that topicals are unpredictable) does anybody really have any idea what a reasonable withdraw time actually is? If the medication is not actively in the horse's system at the time of testing...only that the meds were given at some unknown time in the past...is it actually legitimate to call it DOPING?
I understand (and agree) that the FEI should be all about the wellfare of the horse, and that they need to be and appear to be proactive. However it seems this is a case of technology warping the concept.

You are right:) For some to say NSAIDS have a profound effect on lameness is just crazy...They certainly help but profound...NO

rabicon
Sep. 8, 2008, 12:01 PM
Well I can put surpass on my horse that has knee issues with Dengerative Arthritis (sp?) and has had sx and vet stem inj. and steriod inj. and one joint on his knee has fused and waiting for the other to fuse. When I put the surpass on his knee he is a different horse (he still limps because the main joint in his knee is fused so it can't really bend), he runs and bucks and plays etc... So I'd have to say it has a profound effect on the horse.

Jumphigh83
Sep. 8, 2008, 12:14 PM
Flame suit on...this is becoming a ridiculous witch hunt. The sensitivity of the testing available makes "no foreign substance" rule nearly impossible to comply with....Equi block (and other hot pepper type rubs) might be used in SIGNIFICANT doses to hyper sensitize legs but trace amounts are of negligible use in "doping". I am fairly certain world class riders trainers vets etc would not risk their repute by intentional doping. AND access to the animals is waaaaaay to easy even by people with FEI passes to the barn...rub some "foreign substance" on the stall bars/walls/drop into the feed tubs....it is all to easy to stick it to someone you want to see flounder. This whole process needs to be revamped.

showjump
Sep. 8, 2008, 12:50 PM
I totally agree with you Jumphigh83!

poltroon
Sep. 8, 2008, 01:09 PM
Or heck, just leave some chips and salsa on a tack trunk.

hsheffield
Sep. 8, 2008, 02:17 PM
aspirin is a kind of NSAID, btw.

as a matter of fact, some tests in humans have show that the 'name' NSAIDs such as alleve or ibuprofen have no more pain relieving effect than aspirin (when dosed accordingly.)


we now return to our regularly scheduled programming...

WhatzUp
Sep. 8, 2008, 02:20 PM
I am not speaking to this case specifically, but just fyi sample and lab contamination DOES occur, even in respected laboratories. Modern tests are very, very sensitive.

Hello,

The sample Chain of Custody is extremely explicit and detailed
but this is true, in extremely rare cases mistakes can and do
occur in laboratories.

After all, we Chemists are human !

This is built into analytical protocol, or SOP's (Standard Operating
Procedures) hence a second sampling et.al. to catch any anomalies.

The instrumentation utilized to analyze these samples have been
increasing in sensitivity for some time now but the capsaicinoids
(family to which capaicin belongs) is not a sensitive component at
all in my opinion for chromatographs to detect.

It would have been detected at the low parts per thousand level in
the early 1970's. Yes, it is detected at the parts per billion now, but
based on the concentration allegedly "allowed" that level of sensitivity
is not relevant.

What continues to confuse me with respect to "allowed" and "banned"
substances is the lack of consistency in units utilized to detail the
concentrations of substances ...! mg/mmol ? mg/mL ?? ug/mmol ???

Yours in sport,

Lynn

WhatzUp
Sep. 8, 2008, 02:30 PM
Or heck, just leave some chips and salsa on a tack trunk.

:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

< spits tea on keyboard >

Please tell me whose - I am hungry !!!

Yours in sport,

Lynn

YankeeLawyer
Sep. 9, 2008, 01:36 AM
Hello,

The sample Chain of Custody is extremely explicit and detailed
but this is true, in extremely rare cases mistakes can and do
occur in laboratories.

After all, we Chemists are human !

This is built into analytical protocol, or SOP's (Standard Operating
Procedures) hence a second sampling et.al. to catch any anomalies.

The instrumentation utilized to analyze these samples have been
increasing in sensitivity for some time now but the capsaicinoids
(family to which capaicin belongs) is not a sensitive component at
all in my opinion for chromatographs to detect.

It would have been detected at the low parts per thousand level in
the early 1970's. Yes, it is detected at the parts per billion now, but
based on the concentration allegedly "allowed" that level of sensitivity
is not relevant.

What continues to confuse me with respect to "allowed" and "banned"
substances is the lack of consistency in units utilized to detail the
concentrations of substances ...! mg/mmol ? mg/mL ?? ug/mmol ???

Yours in sport,

Lynn

My understanding is that there is no level of the substance that is permissible. As for sample and lab contamination -- regarding the former, that can occur in or outside the lab. As for the latter, I am familiar with cases in which that has occurred. I would not consider it to be so extraordinarily rare as to rule it out completely as a possibility.

poltroon
Sep. 9, 2008, 12:49 PM
Capsaicin is easy to transfer to all kinds of um, interesting, places, and does not readily wash off, as anyone who has been sloppy with handling very hot chile peppers can attest.

TemJeito
Sep. 9, 2008, 02:00 PM
Capsaicin is easy to transfer to all kinds of um, interesting, places, and does not readily wash off, as anyone who has been sloppy with handling very hot chile peppers can attest.

LOL. But I don't think that's the issue now. Three riders have said they used Equi-Block and the jar of Equi-Block clearly states - in big letters - that it contains capsaicin. It also states - in big letter - "will not test." If what YankeeLawyer says is true - that there is no level of the subtance that is permissible - these riders violated the rules and it doesn't matter that the manufacturer said it "wouldn't test."

I wish the FEI would just quietly let this go away. I do think they are being "pig-headed." Just read the interim decisions Theo posted and especially paragraphs 10 through 14, which talk about the FEI protesting the initial lifting of the suspension on the ground that letting these riders compete would cause "immeasurable harm" to the sport :uhoh:

Auventera Two
Sep. 9, 2008, 02:01 PM
Wow I had no idea that things have gotten so strict! I guess avoiding all of the banned substances has become a full time job...

My endurance horse is now on Gastrogard to treat her for severe ulceration, and I was told by the vet that it is a banned substance by the AERC. That's ridiculous. Trailering, camping overnight, conditioning, competing, electrolytes, grain, everything about the sport causes increased stomach acid and apparently about 75% of endurance horses have ulcers. But the medication that effectively treats and cures ulcers to keep the horses healthy and comfortable and competing is BANNED. That's just absurd.

egontoast
Sep. 9, 2008, 02:38 PM
My endurance horse is now on Gastrogard to treat her for severe ulceration, and I was told by the vet that it is a banned substance by the AERC. That's ridiculous. Trailering, camping overnight, conditioning, competing, electrolytes, grain, everything about the sport causes increased stomach acid and apparently about 75% of endurance horses have ulcers. But the medication that effectively treats and cures ulcers to keep the horses healthy and comfortable and competing is BANNED. That's just absurd.

While your horse is in the middle of a gastrogard treatment for 'severe ulceration" , why would you even want to compete and subject her to all those things which you say increases stomach acid. :confused: