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Submitted Letters's Blog


June 24: Regarding recent positive tests in Ontario

Published: June 24, 2015 3:10 pm ET

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Trot Insider has received a statement from two veterinarians regarding a rash of recent positive tests that have occurred in Ontario.

The statement, penned jointly by Drs. John Hennessey and David Goodrow, is as follows.

We have concluded that the recent spate of positive tests for oxilofrine have come from the administration of ephedrine in antihistamine products.

It was not widely known that oxilofrine is a metabolite of ephedrine, due to the very small amount of it, but Dr. Hennessey has found a peer-reviewed scientific paper from a German doctor showing that this metabolite DOES occur in humans and rats. Horses have not been tested.

The two confirmed tests that we have investigated revealed administration of ephedrine at 56 and 60 hours prior to racing. The guidelines suggest 36 hours is adequate.

We do not know what the actual clearance time for this metabolite is, so we strongly suggest not using any product containing ephedrine at any time until this is sorted out.

We are extremely concerned that the CPMA in their wisdom (???) have been testing for very minute quantities of drugs (measured at a few parts per billion in the urine) resulting in very damaging -- yet inconsequential to performance -- positive tests. Examples of these are ractopamine, levamisole, aminorex and now oxilofrine.

The industry needs a strong drug testing program, but even more it needs the CPMA to stop calling contaminants or obscure metabolites or byproducts a positive test.

They have quantitative testing for other drugs, so let's use it for these.

John Hennessey DVM
David Goodrow DVM

The views presented in Trot Blogs are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

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