Pain Relief Miracle Drug Screen Results – “No Drugs Detected” – Industrial LaboratoriesBy
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Pain Relief Miracle Drug Screen Results – “No Drugs Detected” – Industrial Laboratories
DRUGS AND RACING – PERCEPTION VS REALITY
FACT: 99.5% of Tested Samples Contain No Drugs.
FACT: Standards for Racing Tougher Than Olympics.
FACT: Racing Tests for More Drugs than ANY other sport.
FACT: Incidents of “Horse Doping” remote.
On May 5, 2011, the front page of USA Today was headlined “Chemical Warfare in Horse Racing Targeted”. The article was prompted by the comments of a prominent public official who declared that “Chemical warfare is rampant on American racetracks”. Such salacious comments create an undeserved negative perception of a sport that is responsible for the employment of over 380,000 people across the country.
evolved to be more medication reliant in the same way human care has. Today, legal medications are often prescribed by physicians and veterinarians to improve the health and quality of life for people and animals.
This conventional reliance on legal medication presents a challenge for racing regulators who must ensure compliance with the rules protecting the public and the horse. Many who have been widely quoted on this issue have not had access to the data contained in this report. This data, obtained from state regulatory bodies, represents an unbiased view of the extent to which drug violations actually occur in the sport.
It has long been acknowledged that professional horse racing – thoroughbred, standardbred, and quarter horse contests – are aggressively regulated by the states because pari-mutuel wagering on the outcome of these contests has been an authorized and limited form of gambling originally intended to support rural and agricultural economies.
The “anti-doping” standards in horse racing are more aggressive than those deployed in the Olympics. In fact, the worldwide annual drug testing budget of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is dwarfed considerably by the collective investment made by the state racing commissions in just one country, the United States. U.S. state racing commissions commit over $35 million annually to directly test for medication violations. By comparison, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s world-wide effort relies on $26 million in funding. The financial statements published on their website reveal that of that amount, $1.6 million is specifically earmarked for testing fees.
Horse racing’s anti-doping program tests for more substances at deeper levels than any other professional sport. These facts are inexplicably ignored by many who wish to opine on this matter and have been successful in drawing attention to their assertions by spinning negative headlines about the sport.
The perception created is not consistent with the facts.
In 2010, 324,215 biological samples were taken and tested.2 Lab results show that 99.5% of those samples were found to contain no foreign or prohibited substance. In other words only one half of one percent of samples tested was found to have contained a substance in violation of the rules3.
An examination of racing commission data also reveals that in those relatively rare instances when a violation of a medication rule does occur, most were associated with a legal substance administered in the normal course of equine care by a licensed veterinarian and cannot be characterized as “horse doping” or as indicative of a “drugging”.
Those substances that could legitimately be construed as a “horse doping”4 (RCI Classification Categories I and II) represent just 47 instances out of 324,215 samples tested in 2010. That represents 0.015% of all samples tested. The use of terms like “rampant”, “endemic”, “widespread”, “chemical warfare”, or “racing’s drug addiction” do the sport and the tens of thousands of families who rely on it a great disservice.
For testing, racing commissions retain professional laboratories who are subject to commission oversight as well as quality assurance programs. In addition, laboratory findings are subject to review by an independent reference laboratory as well as adjudicatory appeal. In 2010, as in previous years, we are not aware of any laboratory finding that was determined to be invalid.
While conventional drug testing is performed on competitive athletes, the primary focus is on doping – drugs and/or supplements that are taken to promote muscle growth and/or to improve strength and endurance. On a local level, sports testing may be limited, but on a national and international level, it has become highly organized.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) work together to monitor athlete drug use on a national, international, and Olympic level. WADA has a written code, which establishes uniform drug testing rules and sanctions for all sports and countries, and a substantial list of prohibited substances. Athletes are responsible for any banned substances that are found in their body during testing. Most of the compounds tested are considered positive if they are detected in any quantity while others, such as caffeine, are only prohibited when they are present in large amounts. Some of the substances, such as anabolic steroids (testosterone) and peptide hormones such as erythropoietin, growth hormone, and Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 are banned but are difficult to measure as they are produced by the body. Testing methods must be able to distinguish between endogenous (that produced by the athlete’s body) and supplemented compounds.
Screening programs randomly perform out-of-competition drug tests on athletes during the training season to look for anabolic steroids, such as testosterone, that promote increased muscle growth. During competitions, testing is frequently done both randomly and on all winners and includes categories such as: stimulants, narcotics, anabolic agents, and peptide hormones. Sports such as archery, gymnastics, and shooting add additional testing for substances like beta blockers, which are prohibited in these sports because they decrease blood pressure and heart rate.
While professional sports organizations, such as the NFL (National Football League), NHL (National Hockey League), and NBA (National Basketball Association), are not covered by the WADA code, they have programs in place to test their athletes for panels of drugs that combine aspects of sports and employment testing. Those professional athletes who also take part in the Olympics, however, are subject to the same out-of-competition (pre-game) and in-competition testing as other competing athletes.
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