USEF: Banned Substance GABA Continues to Appear in Tests - The Horse Owner's Resource

USEF: Banned Substance GABA Continues to Appear in Tests

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In February 2012, The Jurga Report published the announcement that the ingredient GABA had been declared a forbidden substance under USEF rules.

Not only is GABA on the USEF list, but any product that contains it should not be used.

GABA, or gama aminobutyric acid, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and is a principal ingredient of a product known as "Carolina Gold".

Apparently, the word is not getting to competitors, because today the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) issued a second announcement about products containing GABA, and GABA itself. GABA is still showing up in the test results of horses at USEF competitions, six months after the ban.

USEF warns:

"As a reminder, because there are no recognized medical uses for this substance, the use of a Medication Report Form to report its administration is NOT applicable under USEF rules.

"Currently, GABA positives have been detected and are pending enforcement through the USEF's Regulations Department for adjudication by the USEF Hearing Committee.

"Trainers and veterinarians involved in the sale or use of this substance may be subject to significant fines and/or suspensions.

"GABA was also added to the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List as a Banned Substance and its presence in any equine sample would be a violation under the Equine Anti-Doping Rules. It is important to note that individuals considered? "Persons Responsible" for using a Banned Substance may receive a two year suspension and up to a 15,000 CHF fine for a first offense. The penalty may be enhanced for a repeat offender.

"This penalty structure may be applicable for violations at USEF national competitions. A violation of this rule may subject an individual to a two year suspension and a significant fine."

To learn more: Read "Uh Oh", a commentary on GABA use in the hunter/jumper world by Alex Emerson DVM of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital.

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