Friday, June 29, 2012

Frogs used for illegal doping in horse racing

Racing regulators kept hearing the reports: trainers were giving their horses a powerful performance-enhancing potion drawn from the backs of a type of South American frog.

But for months postrace testing could not find the substance, a painkiller far more powerful than morphine. Then a lab in the Denver area tweaked its testing procedure, and in recent weeks more than 30 horses from four states have tested positive for the substance, dermorphin, which is suspected of helping horses run faster. 

“We hear about some pretty exotic stuff,” said Dr. Steven Barker, who directs the testing laboratory at Louisiana State University. “Frog juice — this is exotic.” 

The discovery comes as the racing industry is struggling to counter perceptions of a pervasive drug culture. Indeed, dermorphin is the latest in a long list of illegal performance-enhancing drugs that have found their way onto racetracks. Cobra venom has also been used by trainers to deaden pain so that injured horses can race.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Many people are wrong to think racehorses are loved and cared for. They are used as tools to make money. Many racehorses die at the racetrack as trainers push them for all they are worth.