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  1. #1
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    Default John Madden in American Horses in Sport Issue (Very long and a rant)

    Quoting him:
    The most troubling events of the year were truly awful. I'm referring to Urico's positive test for cocaine at the Olympic show jumping selection trials this spring and the consequences for trainer Bruce Burr, owner Jane Clark, and rider Mario Deslauriers. I hope that the readers will trust that I'm very well informed on the issues around this case. This is not the time to expand the details. In the end, this was a grave injustice to all involved. I implore you to trust me when I say: This could have been any one of us who has ever had a horse drug tested. This is not about the people involved, it is about justice.

    The handling of a very sensitive situation was very ugly. The USEF Hearing Committee hid behind its rules in order to do the wrong thing, imposing a mandatory sanction in a situation where it just didn't fit. Bruce, Jane, and Mario didn't deserve this, to say nothing of all the contributions and service to our business by all of them. Fortunately, but in opinion, far too late, through the efforts of the FEI, USEF and NARG, this situation was sorted out, and Mr. Burr is in good standing with the USEF.
    What does he mean by this? I can find nothing on the USEF site except the hearing committee report that issued the suspension. There is no update and no explanation of why the suspension was lifted. There is an old Forum thread here, but it doesn't have any facts. http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...pension-lifted

    Why should we trust John Madden? Why shouldn't the facts be made public? Especially since a similar thing might happen to anyone whose horse is tested? Shouldn't everyone know?

    The horse tested positive for cocaine at the USEF Olympic Selection Trials. Can there be any more heinous drugging offense?

    Without more in the way of facts, things just look from here as if the USEF Old Boy (and Girl) network saved their own. If, as the earlier thread suggests it was believed that a two year suspension was too tough, doesn't that mean that TPTB really have no desire to enforce anti-doping rules with harsh punishment? Sort of same old-same old. Maybe this was the "FEI exception" that the USEF vet crowed about at the USHJA meeting.

    Why would it be unfair to apply clearly defined rules when a horse tests positive for cocaine? It looks as if the cocaine positive was just wiped out, since the FEI minimum suspension wasn't even applied. If there were exceptional circumstances, shouldn't the world know for precedential value where these new rules are concerned?

    Doesn't the USEF owe the public an explanation on why the suspension was lifted? If the FEI rules on sanctions must be applied, which one of the exceptions permitted Burr to a) receive a sanction of less than the full two years; and b) serve less than one quarter of the full suspension? His suspension started on June 12, 2012 and he was reinstated in November.

    Just because the people involved were BNs, shouldn't the rules apply to them as well?

    Why was all this kept in the dark? Why was application of the FEI sanctions "the worst of the worst?" The sanctions are clear and also how to avoid them. If the test was unreliable, shouldn't that have been publicized? If not, what got all these huge names off the hook for a very clear rule violation? Where is transparency? Where is dedication to Clean Sport? Why doesn't the USEF explain itself IN PUBLIC?

    FEI Anti-doping Rules:
    ARTICLE 10 SANCTIONS
    10.1 Disqualification of Results in the Event during which an EAD Rule Violation Occurs

    Except for the Olympic and Paralympic Games where the Disqualification of Athlete’s results from Competitions following an EAD Rule violation is set forth in the FEI Regulations for Equestrian Events at the Olympic or Paralympic Games,
    the following rules relating to the Disqualification of results will apply. An EAD Rule violation occurring during or in connection with an Event may lead to Disqualification of all of the Person Responsible's individual results obtained in
    that Event, with any and all Horses with which the Person Responsible competed, with all consequences, including forfeiture of all medals, points and prizes, except as provided in Article 10.1.1. [I] Notwithstanding the above, for all Events, including but not limited to the Olympic and Paralympic Games,
    exceptional circumstances may be considered.[
    /I] Generally, and subject to 10.1.1 and 10.1.2 below, all Results from Competitions in which the Person Responsible or Horse participated prior to Sample collection shall be Disqualified unless it can be demonstrated that such Results were not likely to have been affected by the EAD Rule violation.

    10.1.1 If the Person Responsible establishes that he bears No Fault or Negligence for the EAD Rule violation, the Person Responsible's individual results in the other Competitions shall not be Disqualified unless the Person Responsible's results in Competitions other than the Competition in which the EAD Rule violation occurred were likely to have been affected by the Person Responsible's EAD Rule violation.

    10.1.2 In addition, the Person Responsible’s Horse may also be Disqualified from the Event with all Consequences, including forfeiture of all medals, points, and prizes even if earned while being ridden by someone other than the Person Responsible, if the Horse’s results in Competitions other than the Competition in which the EAD Rule violation occurred were likely to have been affected by the EAD Rule violation.

    10.2 Ineligibility and Fine for Presence, Use or Attempted Use or Possession of Banned Substances and Banned Methods
    The Sanction imposed for a violation of Article 2.1 (presence of a Banned Substance or its Metabolites or Markers), Article 2.2 (Use or Attempted Use of a Banned Substance or a Banned Method) or Article 2.5 (Possession of a Banned Substance or a Banned Method) shall be as follows unless the conditions for
    eliminating, reducing, or increasing the Sanction provided in 10.4 or 10.5are [sic] met.
    First Violation: Two (2) years Ineligibility; A Fine of CHF 15,000 unless fairness dictates otherwise, and appropriate legal costs.

    Multiple Violations: As set forth in Article 10.6 below.

    10.3 Ineligibility for Other Rule Violations
    The Sanction for EAD Rule violations other than as provided in Articles 9 and 10.2 above shall be as follows:
    10.3.1 For violations of Article 2.3 (Refusing or Failing to Submit to Sample collection), Article 2.4 (Tampering or Attempted Tampering with any part of Doping Control), Article 2.5 (Administration or Attempted Administration of a
    Banned Substance), Article 2.6 (Possession of Banned Substances or Banned Methods) or Article 2.8 (Assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up or any other type of complicity involving an EAD Rule violation or any
    Attempted EAD Rule violation.) the Sanction shall be as set forth in Articles 9 and 10.2 above, unless the conditions for eliminating, reducing or increasing the Sanction provided in Articles 10.4 or 10.5are [sic] met.

    10.4 Elimination or Reduction of Period of Ineligibility Based on Exceptional Circumstances

    10.4.1 No Fault or Negligence
    If the Person Responsible and/or member of the Support Personnel (where applicable) establishes in an individual case that he or she bears No Fault or Negligence for the EAD Rule violation, the otherwise applicable period of Ineligibility and other Sanctions (apart from Article 9) may be eliminated in
    regard to such Person. When a Banned Substance or its Metabolites or Markers is detected in a Horse’s Sample in violation of Article 2.1 (presence of a Banned Substance), the Person Responsible and/or member of the Support Personnel (where applicable) must also establish how the Banned Substance entered the Horse’s system in order to have the period of Ineligibility and other Sanctions eliminated. In the event this Article is applied and the period of Ineligibility otherwise applicable is eliminated, the EAD Rule violation shall
    not be considered a violation for the limited purpose of determining the period of Ineligibility for multiple violations under Article 10.6 below.

    10.4.2 No Significant Fault or Negligence
    If a Person Responsible and/or member of the Support Personnel (where applicable) establishes in an individual case that he bears No Significant Fault or Negligence, then the otherwise applicable period of Ineligibility and other Sanctions (apart from Article 9) may be reduced in regard to such Person, but the reduced period of Ineligibility may not be less than one-half of the period of Ineligibility otherwise applicable. If the otherwise applicable period of Ineligibility is a lifetime, the reduced period under this Article may be no less than eight (8) years. When a Banned Substance or its Metabolites or Markers is detected in a Horse's Sample in violation of Article 2.1 (presence of a Banned Substance or its Metabolites or markers), the Person alleged to have committed the EAD Rule violation must also establish how the Banned Substance or its Metabolites or Markers entered the Horse’s system in order to have the period of Ineligibility reduced.

    10.4.3 Substantial Assistance in Discovering or Establishing EAD RuleViolations
    The FEI Tribunal may, prior to a final appellate Decision under Article 12 below or the expiration of the time to appeal, suspend a part or all of the period of Ineligibility imposed in an individual case where the Person Responsible and/or member of the Support Personnel has provided Substantial Assistance to the FEI, the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit, criminal authority or professional disciplinary body which results in the FEI discovering or establishing an EAD Rule violation by another Person or which results in a criminal or disciplinary body discovering or establishing a criminal offence or the breach of professional rules by another Person. Such Substantial Assistance must be independently corroborated in order to reduce the period of Ineligibility and under no circumstance should it amount only to blaming another Person or entity for the alleged EAD Rule violation. The extent to which the otherwise applicable period of Ineligibility may be suspended shall be based on the seriousness of the EAD Rule violation
    committed and the significance of the Substantial Assistance provided in an effort to promote drug-free equestrian sport. In any event, no more than three-quarters of the otherwise applicable period of Ineligibility may be suspended. If the otherwise applicable period of Ineligibility is a lifetime, the non-suspended period under this section must be no less than eight (8) years. If the FEI Tribunal subsequently reinstates any part of the suspended period of Ineligibility because the Person Responsible and/or member of the Support Personnel has failed to provide the Substantial Assistance which was anticipated, the Person Responsible and/or member of the Support Personnel may appeal the reinstatement pursuant to Article 12.2.

    10.4.4 Admission of an EAD Rule Violation in the Absence of Other Evidence
    Where a Person Responsible and/or member of the Support Personnel voluntarily admits the commission of an EAD Rule violation before having received Notice of a Sample collection which could establish an EAD Rule violation (or, in the case of an EAD Rule violation other than Article 2.1, before receiving first Notice of the admitted violation pursuant to Article 7)
    and that admission is the only reliable evidence of the violation at the time of admission, then the period of Ineligibility may be reduced, but not below one-half of the period of Ineligibility otherwise applicable.

    10.4.5 Where a Person Responsible and/or member of the Support Personnel Establishes Entitlement to a Reduction in Sanction Under More than One Provision of this Article
    [I]If the Person Responsible and/or member of the Support Personnel establishes entitlement to a reduction or suspension of the period of Ineligibility under two (2) or more of Articles 10.4, then the period of Ineligibility may be reduced or suspended, but not below one-quarter of the
    otherwise applicable period of Ineligibility.
    Last edited by vineyridge; Jan. 29, 2013 at 01:10 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I don't understand why he keeps saying "trust me" blah blah blah. As soon as he says that I am wondering why can't he say whatever it is in public. I don't know enough about the situation to comment but the fact that the people involved have all contributed to the sport of show jumping doesn't mean they shouldn't be penalized for wrong doing either, which he seems to be saying, unless I am misunderstanding him.


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  3. #3
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    A minor addition to your rant:

    Don't like the "trust me" statement and then naming the players by first names. Of course, Bruce Burr becomes Mr. Burr again later.

    If you read Madden's statement, he chooses different names and includes titles or omits them, depending on how he'd like readers to view the folks named.

    Screw the first name basis: Parties are Mr./Ms./Dr. if appropriate, or referred to by last name only. This is formal writing and there should be no implication of any Old Boys' Network where those in the know (and buds with the author) are on a first-name basis.
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  4. #4
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    First, I know nothing about this particular case and I only know the people involved by sight.

    That said, what I heard was the amount of cocaine was so small, it was less than the amount that is routinely excused by people who handle money, because cocaine is present on money.

    I found that interesting, because I remember hearing the exact same thing about another cocaine case and the 'trainers' got their braider to say he peed on the hay and he was a cocaine user. That's how the horse ended up with a positive.

    Now, if this tiny amount of cocaine is present on our money and is enough to be turned up in tests, why doesn't it come up all the time? there should be horses right and left getting positives for cocaine. Yet, I can't even recall one a year. It's been around 20 years since the junior hunter and the peeing braider.

    So, whatever the REAL story is, I'm skeptical that it's a tiny amount that should be with the allowable limit.
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  5. #5
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    They shouldn't have been feeding the horse money. I know hay is expensive in Florida, but cutting out the middleman and just feeding your horse money directly is really too much.

    --------------

    OK, jokes aside. I have a hard time imagining why you would give a horse cocaine on purpose knowing it is going to jump around the trials (and be tested). Everyone knows that cocaine is eminently testable so I would hope that given the parties involved, I would hope they would not be stupid enough for this to be anything other than an accident.

    As to why cocaine, the rumor mill suggests it could be used to possibly make SJ horses braver. Who knows. But EVERYONE knows how testable it is (very).

    Finally, I doubt this was the Old Boy Network in action. Jane Clark apparently felt railroaded enough to give her horses to Ben Maher of the UK and withdraw from the USEF Foundation, didn't she?


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  6. #6
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    This is a clear case of abuse of power. Lots of that around. They think they can do and say whatever they want and that everyone should just agree with whatever is that they champion at the time. Cocaine was found in the horse. Period. Who are they going to blame? Juan? Manuel? they probably can't afford that substance.


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  7. #7
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    The test needed to detect trace amounts of second-hand cocaine transmitted from human-user to horse would have to be so sensitive that I wonder if it even exists. OTOH, I can see some sort of frequently used topical numbing/pain relief agent showing a positive for the metabolites of cocaine. But if that's really the case, why not continue to say that? To warn others that this product could cause a positive. The whole "trust me" phrasing is very fishy. If no one did anything wrong, there should be no problem with complete transparency. It's all very weird to me.


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  8. #8
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    Glad you posted this - I was confused by it as well. I thought the "most troubling events" that were "truly awful" from last year would be about horses being drugged, not people being held responsible for horses being drugged.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midge View Post
    I found that interesting, because I remember hearing the exact same thing about another cocaine case and the 'trainers' got their braider to say he peed on the hay and he was a cocaine user. That's how the horse ended up with a positive.
    Ewww. I remember hearing about that one, except in the version I heard, he rinsed his hands in the horse's water bucket. Or so he said.


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  10. #10
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    Mr. Delaurier is no longer riding for Jane Clark correct?
    Bruce Burr however, IS currently listed as her trainer at WEF..



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_lee85 View Post
    The test needed to detect trace amounts of second-hand cocaine transmitted from human-user to horse would have to be so sensitive that I wonder if it even exists.
    I have heard (from people with some expertise in this area) the ELISA test described as so sensitive that it could detect a drop in a swimming pool, so I suspect the test does exist.

    But as midge said, there is a lot of recreational cocaine (as opposed to performance enhancing use) out there, so unless someone used it and immediately handled the horse's bit as they tacked up the horse or fed the horse a carrot (hypothetical examples), I would have to assume the normal transmission methods for non users (money example) must not trigger the test. Otherwise you would see more positives in USEF and FEI, I would think.

    And maybe there is a problem with the system and John Madden (and Jane Clark) have genuine reason to be angry/frustrated, but if that was the case, I would hope Jane Clark would use her impressive resources to subpoena all the associated records, make them publicly available so the USEF membership could then have an open and fully informed discussion about improving the process.
    Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.


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  12. #12
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    I'm wondering when will be the time to expand the details. Why would you drop a bombshell like that and not give people any information they can use in any productive way? All this does is create fear, uncertainty, doubt.

    If the FEI had run that test, Deslauriers would have been set down, not Burr. And they don't accept much of anything in the way of excuses... not even when your vet told you to do it, when it had no likely performance impact, and it means you have to give back a gold medal.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


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  13. #13
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    Whenever I hear about a positive test for cocaine (often in racing) I can't help but think of tampering. I mean who is dumb enough to dose their horse with that stuff when they KNOW the horse will likely be tested? The concequences just are not worth it. I'd love to hear the whole story but honestly doubt it will ever come out.
    Last edited by SunNSand; Jan. 29, 2013 at 05:13 PM. Reason: Spelling


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  14. #14
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    The only thing I could think of, assuming JM is correct in saying there is more to this than anyone is saying, was someone was doing cocaine near the horse. And no one wants to risk that person's reputation by outing them.


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  16. #16
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    Hello Chronicle of the Horse!

    I mean the magazine, not the BB. You know who you are. This is how you describe yourself in the 'About Us' section of your website:

    The Chronicle of the Horse published its first edition in 1937 and remains the industry leader in providing news coverage of national and international sport horse competitions. Through our complete magazine and web coverage we offer everything from competition results to compelling features and thought-provoking commentary.
    It seems to me that as the 'industry leader in providing news coverage', you should be reporting on this story. You did publish John Madden's 'thought-provoking commentary', now is it too much to ask that you follow it up with some journalism?

    Most of us here know that you are afraid of upsetting the USEF. I'm not sure why that is, maybe it has something to do with the people who shell out the big bucks for those multi-page congratulatory ads for the trainers and USEF-insider entourages of their young child with bows in her braids and a string of well-coiffed ponies.

    But I hope you can see why these stories are important. A horse was given cocaine. Don't you think that's serious? Don't you think that's a grotesque violation of any definition of animal welfare? And how about that pony Humble? You know, the dead one from Devon. You might have read about him in the New York Times like the rest of us.

    What does it take to make you go do some journalism? You can see the interest is there, you can see the need is there. Or are congratulatory ads more important than the welfare of our horses and the integrity of our sport organizations?

    You owe us an answer.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrakHack View Post
    Glad you posted this - I was confused by it as well. I thought the "most troubling events" that were "truly awful" from last year would be about horses being drugged, not people being held responsible for horses being drugged.
    THIS.
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  18. #18
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    I have heard from someone who worked at the track, that DMSO is no longer allowed because if someone has trace amounts of something like cocaine on their fingers and applies it directly to a horse without gloves, that the DMSO particles can carry cocaine into the blood stream. I guess it was quite an issue for a while with horses testing positive for cocaine, as backsides of tracks aren't always savory. This was in Standardbred racing.
    Not saying I at all understand the comment in question, just pointing out that there is a possible explanation for secondhand transmission.



  19. #19
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    To respond to JER....

    Re: Urico...
    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...ng-team?page=6

    We also were one of the very first, and only, to report on the death of Humble...
    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...ony-dies-devon

    That information was also included in the magazine's story about Devon.

    and we followed up on the story...
    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...inst-mandarino

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...sef-convention

    We have upset many people, many times, including the USEF quite a bit.

    I would add that we've published multiple times on the topic of drugging...

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...ce-old-problem

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...%99s-dangerous


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'dRatherBRiding View Post
    I have heard from someone who worked at the track, that DMSO is no longer allowed because if someone has trace amounts of something like cocaine on their fingers and applies it directly to a horse without gloves, that the DMSO particles can carry cocaine into the blood stream. I guess it was quite an issue for a while with horses testing positive for cocaine, as backsides of tracks aren't always savory. This was in Standardbred racing.
    Not saying I at all understand the comment in question, just pointing out that there is a possible explanation for secondhand transmission.
    Geez, instead of banning DMSO (that's news to me) how about cleaning up the backside?
    It irks me that tracks don't require drug testing of backside employees. 90% of the people back there would be gone gone gone. Not to mention track officials turn a blind eye to drinking and other unsavory activities in the barns. Some tracks are worse than others but its pretty bad when people are drinking in full view of anyone walking by.



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