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Farmer/Glefke Open Forum

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  • Farmer/Glefke Open Forum

    I'm surprised to see no discussion so far on this?

    Here's the COTH article summarizing it, and the whole presentation is on the COTH FB page.

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...-in-wellington

    Do you guys buy their explanation?
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

  • #2
    It was interesting. I think you have to consider the source. But if even 20% of what they said was accurate, it raises some pretty big questions about the whole drug testing process in general, and the lab work in particular.

    I’ve had many, many horses tested at shows over the years. I was never worried, since I knew those horses were not getting anything that was against the rules. But in hindsight, I wonder how often those samples may have been handled incorrectly.

    The other thing that was mentioned at the forum, though not in the article, was that the type of tubes used by USEF for testing changed in 2011. The next question was how much of an effort was made to notify/educate the testing vets about that change.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, actually, in this case, yes. USEF screwed up the testing protocol which is much less closely controlled then ideal due to tne nature of the collection environment, transport and handling at a non independent lab.

      It could happen to anybody, including all of us who don’t have the money for this kind of defense. This has exposed the need for better procedures , tighter controls and a competent, independent lab and some changes are being made. And I don’t think a video of the test including sample numbers and sealing the tube is a bad idea.

      But I work in a job with required random testing that can result in termination as well as coming from a family business that ran a variety of tests on a wide range of samples both under contract and privately...and have mentioned before, at my birth, my dad was running race horse piss samples so I do look at this more as a rather large screw up that could effect anybody and maybe already has but they couldn’t fight it.

      I don’t blame USEF for not attending this open forum hosted by LCF with their lawyers in attendance. Would serve no purpose or change anything.

      However, I have a huge problem with closing the piece by quoting KFs woe is me statement about getting her reputation back...honey, that ship sailed some time ago. And sank.
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mac123 View Post
        I'm surprised to see no discussion so far on this?

        Here's the COTH article summarizing it, and the whole presentation is on the COTH FB page.

        http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...-in-wellington

        Do you guys buy their explanation?
        Their explanation is that the freezing of the tubes caused more GABA to be released from red blood cells. But doesn't that admit to the fact that it was present in the first place? Even the A sample was 3x the threshold limit, and almost 10x the mean endogenous levels. Not guilty and innocent are not the same thing.

        Are there issues with the system that need to be improved? Absolutely. But I didn't ever see any argument of innocence, merely of a flawed system, but I am not sure I want them leading the charge on improvements. Foxes guarding henhouses.
        A Year In the Saddle

        Comment


        • #5
          Three things:
          “We have a lot of respect for the USEF..." said their attorney. If that was true, these two USEF members wouldn't be attempting to cheat in USEF competitions.

          Next up: Still no denial that the horse was drugged, not even in the open forum.

          Lastly, did anyone in attendance ask this question: Since the drug testing protocol was compromised, are they denying that their other horse was given cocaine, and will fight USEF on that positive test too ? Or are they accepting the reduced penalty, and standing down.
          Last edited by Mardi; Feb. 10, 2018, 06:32 PM.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by JenEM View Post

            Their explanation is that the freezing of the tubes caused more GABA to be released from red blood cells. But doesn't that admit to the fact that it was present in the first place? Even the A sample was 3x the threshold limit, and almost 10x the mean endogenous levels. Not guilty and innocent are not the same thing.

            Are there issues with the system that need to be improved? Absolutely. But I didn't ever see any argument of innocence, merely of a flawed system, but I am not sure I want them leading the charge on improvements. Foxes guarding henhouses.
            I think that's where I'm at. They definitely seemed to expose issues with the sample handling and testing process that severely calls into question the accuracy of the test - even of the A test. And I have to give them that, because it's important - just as in criminal justice - to ensure that those who are found guilty actually are guilty!

            However, I also don't believe for one second that the horse wasn't given GABA, and I find it interesting that they've never come out and said "We didn't drug this horse." Had I been running that open forum for myself in that situation, I would have started with "My horse had never been given GABA, and that's how I knew there was faulty testing at play."

            The bit about her reputation was amusing, considering both her and Larry's previous drug violations and the common knowledge of their practices.
            It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mardi View Post

              Lastly, did anyone in attendance ask this question: Since the drug testing protocol was compromised, are they denying that the other horse was given cocaine, and will fight USEF on that positive test too ? Or are they accepting the reduced penalty, and standing down.
              I was in attendance. I did not hear anyone ask that question.

              I will also say that in the last few years, I’ve gotten in the habit of taking pictures of the sample number on the tubes, just as a precaution against a clerical error of any kind. But from now on, I will video the whole process each time.

              Comment


              • #8
                As a source of error/uncertainty that makes the particular case invalid due to the need to give the benefit of the doubt to the athlete, fine.

                But the truth is that if this result was typical in a horse that was not administered GABA, then every single sample the USEF handled this way should have tested positive. Or certainly an eye-popping percentage. And as far as I know, that's not the case.
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JenEM View Post

                  Their explanation is that the freezing of the tubes caused more GABA to be released from red blood cells. But doesn't that admit to the fact that it was present in the first place? Even the A sample was 3x the threshold limit, and almost 10x the mean endogenous levels. Not guilty and innocent are not the same thing.

                  Are there issues with the system that need to be improved? Absolutely. But I didn't ever see any argument of innocence, merely of a flawed system, but I am not sure I want them leading the charge on improvements. Foxes guarding henhouses.
                  GABA is a naturally occurring substance, so it will be found in samples even when handled correctly. That's why there is the threshold limit for fresh and frozen samples. I get that. But why didn't all the other horses tested that day, who had their samples also frozen in that vet's freezer, come back positive then? If the flawed process created the positive test, it should have created a positive test for all samples handled in the same manner. 2 and 2 still aren't adding up to 4 in my mind...

                  Obviously the testing process is quite flawed and in need of overhaul and I'm glad that has come to light. Did all this change my mind about the entire case - nope.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                    As a source of error/uncertainty that makes the particular case invalid due to the need to give the benefit of the doubt to the athlete, fine.

                    But the truth is that if this result was typical in a horse that was not administered GABA, then every single sample the USEF handled this way should have tested positive. Or certainly an eye-popping percentage. And as far as I know, that's not the case.
                    That's a great point. If they didn't give the horse GABA, then those results should have occurred with every frozen blood sample. It doesn't sound like freezing their sample was a 1-off, so if they really didn't give the horse GABA, there should be a plethora of other GABA positive tests!!
                    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                      But the truth is that if this result was typical in a horse that was not administered GABA, then every single sample the USEF handled this way should have tested positive. Or certainly an eye-popping percentage. And as far as I know, that's not the case.
                      That aspect hadn't occurred to me, but should have been obvious--they wouldn't have been the only ones tested, and if everyone else's sample was treated with the same protocol, you'd have expected to see other false positives. Not the case here, as we haven't heard of any other GABA sanctions from the same show.
                      A Year In the Saddle

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        But...the B sample, IIRC, somehow grew wings and migrated from one freezer to another with no documentation, which is a break in the chain of custody which would void the test results in any decently run lab and be disregarded as evidence in any criminal proceeding.

                        That I got no problem at all with that and doubt anybody else does either. The whole wierd science explanation for the presence of GABA leaves me in tne weeds, they should stop at proving the sample was mishandled. They won, they don’t need to try to resurrect a long dead reputation trotting the dream team out with complicated theories while never denying they used the stuff.

                        Maybe it was a PR attempt?
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Great points!

                          Also, when they discuss

                          “Our experts told us that red blood cells contains different things than plasma does—that’s why you keep the plasma separate from the red blood cells. Nobody knows for sure, but the best guess is that the red blood cells contain between six and 14 times more GABA than the plasma."

                          I mean they are basically giving a totally un-proven argument that suits their needs. Aren't they usually crying that the Natural Levels of GABA and subsequent limits set by the USEF are un-proven? And now they are providing their own un--proven argument to explain why their test was soooooooooo high.

                          Bolded is mine

                          .............BIGGEST EYE ROLL EVER.................
                          Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then ALWAYS be a unicorn.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Glad the issues came to light and hopefully get fixed.

                            As for Glefke/Farmer - They aren’t exonerated. Simply got away with it again.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, it seems that Chain-of-Custody was the least of the labs problems!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by jr View Post
                                Glad the issues came to light and hopefully get fixed.

                                As for Glefke/Farmer - They aren’t exonerated. Simply got away with it again.
                                Right. I didn't watch the whole thing but what I did see was just grandstanding by lawyers without the speakers taking questions from the audience. Of course I do hope USEF tightens up its lab. But if they do, this defense won't work twice.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  And anyways, holding this at WEF certainly gives them a sympathetic crowd. Does anyone know if any press was there besides COTH? Were any tough questions asked about their earlier violations?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The Plaid Horse had someone there. The lawyers did take questions at the end, which mostly were on the subject of the nuts and bolts of the flaws in the drug testing and lab procedures. Those flaws could affect any member.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      On Wednesday, USE CEO William Moroney penned a good detailed letter to the membership regarding proactive steps being taken on processes, and the future. I have confidence that he and his team will get this organized. If the organization learns from this and gets better, then lesson learned and everyone will be better for it.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I watched. If USEF was as inept as they were made out to be, it really chaps my side that I was basically giving, over the years, hundreds of $ in drug fees to be handled by the 3 stooges. When people are caught cheating they have to refund all money won (usually) I think Usef should refund our drug fees. It will be painful to pay this fee from now on.
                                        Last edited by Oliver4Ever; Feb. 10, 2018, 11:27 AM.

                                        Comment

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