I haven't waded through the entire thread, but here is my understanding from what I have learned over the past few months.
The horse did not test positive for cocaine, but for a metabolite of cocaine. I "heard" that it was a similar situation to previous FEI major suspensions in that is occurs in a topic medicine that was used on the horse.
The show was NOT an FEI event, so the rider was NOT the person responsible. The trainer on record was. The USEF was told 2 years ago by the FEI that all FEI disciplines would need to follow the FEI drug guidelines, even at NON-FEI events (this means child-adult jumpers, etc.).
The USEF has been working since then to receive permission to continue with their own penalties for any non-FEI event. All FEI events would continue under the FEI level of penalties.
It was not until November that the FEI granted the USEF permission. So this case that went before the hearing committee in May had to use the FEI 2 year suspension penalties for the person responsible (trainer).
Once the FEI gave the USEF permission to use their guidelines, they were able to "change" the suspension as it was not an FEI event.
My guess is that they wanted a 6 month suspension, which at that point had happened.
I heard what topical med was used, but don't remember it at this point. It was widely discussed at Devon when the hearing was taking place.
There are plenty of meds that have derivatives of cocaine and the like in them.
Back when I worked as a vet tech, there was a case I was aware of in which a racehorse tested positive for cocaine ... The trainer of said horse was widely reputed to be a cocaine user. I'm not sure whether the positive result was due to accidental contamination via the trainer or whether the horse was intentionally given cocaine ... However I do know that the trainer received a substantial suspension.
Bottom line, it does happen.
here.) Those are the major hydrolysis products of cocaine, which quickly degrades/breaks down in vivo.
USEF Rules GR 408 and GR 409.
GR408 Interpretations of the Federation Equine Drugs and Medications Chapter and its Application to Particular Substances.
Any questions regarding the interpretation of this Chapter, including the application of this Chapter to particular substances, should be directed to the office of the Federation Equine Drugs and Medications Program, 956 King Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43212-2655. (800) 633-2472, (614) 299-7707, FAX (614) 299-7706. Trainers and/or owners who seek advice concerning the interpretation and application of this rule should
not rely solely upon interpretations or advice by private or competition veterinarians, competition officials, competition personnel, or other persons, but should also obtain
verification of any such interpretations or advice from the Federation Equine Drugs and Medications Program office. Any trainer or owner who is uncertain about whether this rule applies in any given situation would be well advised to withdraw the affected horse and/or pony from competition until such time as the Federation Equine Drugs and Medications Program office has been consulted
Here is the 2012 USEF Rule 409 from the Wayback Machine Internet Archive. As you can see there is a significant difference in that in 2012 the USEF had adopted Section 10 of the FEI EAD Rules--Sanctions. That was dropped in the Current Rules.Quote:
GR409 Equine Drugs and Medications, No Banned Substance Provisions.
1. This rule applies only to FEI Banned Substances and Methods.
2. For all Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) recognized disciplines, Arti-cles 2 (what constitutes a violation), 3 [proof of violations (except 3.1 and 3.2.3)], 4 (banned substances and methods), and 8.2 (principles of fair hearing) of the FEI Equine Anti-Doping rules govern. Those Articles are incorporated by reference as if fully set out herein and can be found at www.fei.org or the Drugs & Medications tab at url]www.usef.org[/url]. For purposes of this rule, the designation of “Person Responsible” in the incorporated provisions of the FEI Equine Anti-Doping rules shall refer to the individual(s) found to be the trainer of the horse as defined by GR404.
EXHIBITORS, OWNERS, TRAINERS, AND VETERINARIANS ARE CAUTIONED AGAINST THE USE OF MEDICINAL PREPARATIONS, TONICS, PASTES, AND PRODUCTS OF ANY KIND, THE INGREDIENTS AND QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF WHICH ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY KNOWN, AS MANY OF THEM NO DOUBT CONTAIN ONE OR MORE FOR-BIDDEN SUBSTANCES. EC 11/19/12 Effective 1/1/13
FEI EADCM RulesQuote:
gr409 equine Drugs anDMeDications, no banneD substance Provisions.
1. This rule applies only to FEI Banned Substances and Methods.
2. For all Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) recognized disciplines, Articles 2 (what constitutes a violation), 3 [proof of violations (except 3.1 and 3.2.3)], 4 (banned substances and meth-ods), 8.2 (principles of fair hearing) and 10 (sanctions) of the FEI Equine Anti-Doping rules govern.
Those Articles are incorporated by reference as if fully set out herein and can be found at www.fei. org or the Drugs & Medications tab at www.usef.org. GR404 Responsibility and Accountability of Trainers applies to this rule. BOD 1/23/11 Effective 12/1/11
Article 13 of the FEI Equine Controlled Medication RulesQuote:
ARTICLE 13 APPLICATION, REPORTING AND RECOGNITION
13.1 Application of FEI EAD Rules
For FEI Disciplines only, all National Federations shall specifically incorporate Articles 2, 3, 4, and 8.2 of these EAD Rules into their anti-doping regulations without substantive change by January 1, 2011 and enforce them against their members, unless doing so would contravene any applicable national law. For any National Federation that has had a system of national anti-doping rules in effect for at least five (5) years, such mandatory compliance may be delayed
until January 1, 2012. With regards to the other Articles of these EAD Rules, National Federations, to the extent they do not wish to incorporate them, shall adopt corresponding provisions which embody similar concepts and principles,
especially with respect to Article 10. Nothing in these EAD Rules shall be interpreted to prevent a National Federation from conducting out-of-competition testing on national Horses as part of its national Doping Control.
Since the USEF rather pointedly did not adopt the FEI Controlled Medication Rules, one assumes that it was opposed to implementing the FEI rules and is coordinating with the FEI on the implementation or not of FEI's Article 4.Quote:
ARTICLE 13 APPLICATION, REPORTING AND RECOGNITION
13.1 Application of FEI ECM Rules
For FEI Disciplines only, all National Federations shall specifically incorporate Articles 2, 3, 4, and 8.2 of these ECM Rules into their anti-doping regulations without substantive change by January 1, 2011 and enforce them against their members, unless doing so would contravene any applicable national
law. For any National Federation that has had a system of national anti-doping rules in effect for at least five (5) years, such mandatory compliance may be delayed until January 1, 2012. If any National Federations in this category (anti-doping rules in effect for at least five (5) years) are opposed
to incorporating Article 4 by January 1, 2012, such National Federation may delay such implementation beyond January 1, 2012 and instead coordinate and agree with the FEI on an individual basis the appropriate implementation, if any, of Article 4 going forward. With regards to the other Articles of these
Rules, National Federations, to the extent they do not wish to incorporate them, shall adopt corresponding provisions which embody similar concepts and principles, especially with respect to Article 10. Nothing in these Rules shall be interpreted to prevent a National Federation from conducting out-of-competition testing on national Horses as part of its national Doping Control.
Thanks, Molly66, for your interpretation of what happened. I would, however, point out that in 2012, the USEF IN ITS OWN RULES had adopted the FEI Sanctions. The Hearing Committee under the USEF Rules had no choice but to apply the FEI sanctions.
That rule has been changed for 2013 to exclude Article 10, the FEI Sanctions Rule.
I find it a waste of time to discuss this topic as so many now list the groom, braider, or taxi cab driver as the trainer. Everyone look at cycling, baseball, or football - continue in this matter with the performance enhancing drugs and the sport will be forever ruined.
This morning I read an old thread about equitation riders today compared against riders of the 80's. One of the posts had the Maclay Finals from 1984 - many ripped the beautiful rider apart. Her round was not as smooth as today's rounds. Was her horse on all the meds used today? Did he have his water taken away? Was he lunged for two hours?
I would hate to see horsemanship go away any more than it has already eroded.
I can't remember if they were still killing horses by then, but drugs were in vogue even waaaay back in the early 80's. Also in the early 70's and the late 60's.
The time changes and the name of the drugs change (ever heard of the Reserpine "massacre" at Devon?), but not much else.
OK, so if 150ng/ml is the human threshold concentration (and the race horse concentration), then maybe very rarely occurring amounts at 1/3 the human threshold might present an argument for secondary contamination? I don't know one way or another. But I think I would like to know more definitively than the current knowledge base which seems to consist of mostly people's opinions expressed on the internet tubz.
They may be right, but that's a lousy system to hang your reputation and livelihood on.
Also - and this is purely hypothetical, since I know absolutely less than nothing about this case - if there is another medication/topical/supplement being used that tests as metabolites of cocaine, that would be useful to know. Something similar has happened before - there was an oral herbal supp that was all the rage in Europe before it came to the States with our (back then) more sensitive test. It did not contain reserpine in it, but it tested as metabolites of reserpine. Those positives were contested by the defendants successfully (gave back prize money/placings, but no fines/suspensions) and led to USEF/AHSA's useful guidance on oral supps (and guidance that USEF never validates ANYTHING as "approved for use" by said organization). It's easy to look back now and wonder why people would think herbal supps were OK, but back then everyone was using herbals, it wasn't considered illegal, unethical or against the spirit of the rules any more than giving a horse extra hay and less grain is. So that was more of a learning opportunity rather than a punishment moment.
As technology advances and people are always looking for a performance edge, no doubt we will have more of those moments. Don't get me wrong, people will always be looking for an illegal or unethical edge. But not all of them will be, and I hope that the governing body would have the flexibility and discretion to both carefully handle learning opportunities as well as come down like the Hammer of the Gods on the repeat offenders and clearly unethical behavior (like Mg and CG and whatever else is brewing out there). Admittedly, that is a lot to ask, but there is a lot at stake for some people as well.
Perhaps, instead of the nasty reply some constructive thoughts to improve the situation. I believe the judging standards need to be revised. Should a hunter, jumping in beautiful form but slightly fooling around in one corner be placed behind a horse that goes around the course without a misstep, but is a knee hanger? I would place the better performer ahead of the poor jumping style.
By the way, before "cocaine was available at the back gate", there were plenty of other drugs and alcohol. I never implied I was blinded by the, "thrilling days of yesteryear.", my purpose was to give my opinion about the direction of our sport and what lengths are people willing to use to obtain a ribbon.
Suppose that as Molly66 suggested, the positive did come from a topical application. That might well explain the low test results mentioned the NARG article. But it's still banned. Gold Medals have been taken away at the 2008 Olympics for Capsicum. To get back to the original topic, I fail to see why getting caught at WEF would be the worst of the worst things that could happen in US Showjumping last year.
If it came from a topical (and yes, there are topicals that will result in a positive finding for benzoylecgonine), don't you think that Mario Deslauriers, Jane Clark, Bruce Burr or John Madden would want to get word out to their fellow equestrians not to use WunderProduktPferde ointment on their competition horses?
Think about it. Would John Madden have written what he wrote in his commentary if all he'd had to say is 'no one knew that substance was in that topical'?