General Doping Thread.

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Think all this talk about positive test cover-ups is Clinic conspiracy theories?

In 2018, Justify became the 13th horse to win thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that the colt failed a drug test prior to the Kentucky Derby and shouldn’t have been eligible to race to begin with.

The Times reports that the horse tested positive for scopolamine, a banned performance-enhancer, after winning the Santa Anita Derby on April 7, 2018.

According to the report, California regulators waited nearly three weeks to notify Justify’s trainer Bob Baffert of the positive test result, nine days before the May 5 running of the Kentucky Derby.

The timeline means that Baffert entered his horse knowing about the positive test. Few others at the time were aware, according to the report.

Instead of immediately disqualifying the Kentucky Derby favorite, the California Horse Racing Board took more than a month to confirm the results and withheld from publicly disclosing the results when it did, according to the report.

The board eventually decided to drop the case and moved to lessen the penalty for testing positive for scopolamine by the time Justify had won the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes to complete the Triple Crown,
according to the report.

The Times reports that two months after Justify completed the Triple Crown, the board concluded that the positive test could have resulted from Justify eating contaminated food and dropped the inquiry before changing the penalty of a positive scopolamine test to a fine and possible suspension in October.

California Horse Racing Board director Rick Baedeker told the Times that it moved slowly on the case due to the nature of the positive test.
The Times spoke with Dr. Rick Sams, who ran the drug lab for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission from 2011 to 2018. He said that the amount found in Justify’s system — 300 milligrams — via documents obtained by the Times indicated that its administration was intentional.
The California Horse Racing Board investigated Baffert in 2013 when seven of his horses unexpectedly died at Inglewood’s Hollywood Park over the course of 16 months.

Baffert was found to have administered thyroid hormone thyroxine to the horses despite there being no evidence of hypothyroidism that the hormone is intended to treat.

Baffert was exonerated after the board determined that the administration of the drug did not violate any rules.
 
Think all this talk about positive test cover-ups is Clinic conspiracy theories?
Question: is the California Horse Racing Board bound by WADA rules?
Question: how do the CHRB's rules on what constitues a failed test compare with WADA's rules?
Question: how do the CHRB's rules on provisional suspensions compare with WADA's rules?
Question: how do the CHRB's rules on public disclosure of anti-doping rule violations compare with WADA's rules?
Question: how does the governance structure of the CHRB compare with that of WADA accredited sports? To whom is it answerable? Who is it required to share rule violations with?
 
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Question: is the California Horse Racing Board bound by WADA rules?
Question: how do the CHRB's rules on what constitues a failed test compare with WADA's rules?
Question: how do the CHRB's rules on provisional suspensions compare with WADA's rules?
Question: how do the CHRB's rules on public disclosure of anti-doping rule violations compare with WADA's rules?
Question: how does the governance structure of the CHRB compare with that of WADA accredited sports? To whom is it answerable? Who is it required to share rule violations with?
On a humane level Baffert should be prosecuted for animal cruelty:

The California Horse Racing Board investigated Baffert in 2013 when seven of his horses unexpectedly died at Inglewood’s Hollywood Park over the course of 16 months.

Baffert was found to have administered thyroid hormone thyroxine to the horses despite there being no evidence of hypothyroidism that the hormone is intended to treat.

Baffert was exonerated after the board determined that the administration of the drug did not violate any rules.

That is seriously f*cked up that he continues to have investors or clients
 
On a humane level Baffert should be prosecuted for animal cruelty:

The California Horse Racing Board investigated Baffert in 2013 when seven of his horses unexpectedly died at Inglewood’s Hollywood Park over the course of 16 months.

Baffert was found to have administered thyroid hormone thyroxine to the horses despite there being no evidence of hypothyroidism that the hormone is intended to treat.

Baffert was exonerated after the board determined that the administration of the drug did not violate any rules.

That is seriously f*cked up that he continues to have investors or clients
And that replies to which of the questions I asked that you quoted in full? You'll need to help me here, I'm not seeing it...maybe in future use the selective quote/reply function so it's clear.
 
Question: is the California Horse Racing Board bound by WADA rules?
Question: how do the CHRB's rules on what constitues a failed test compare with WADA's rules?
Question: how do the CHRB's rules on provisional suspensions compare with WADA's rules?
Question: how do the CHRB's rules on public disclosure of anti-doping rule violations compare with WADA's rules?
Question: how does the governance structure of the CHRB compare with that of WADA accredited sports? To whom is it answerable? Who is it required to share rule violations with?
The answer to the first question is no. As to the rest...

Well, this is interesting. I tried to find the website of the CHRB, and it said, no information available. According to Google, that means “the website prevented Google from creating a page description, but didn't actually hide the page from Google. There’s a single (long) sentence description of the Board at the ca.gov website, which just says it exists to promote integrity, blah, blah, blah. There is a button to the website, which doesn’t work.

Wiki has a slightly longer description, saying there are seven members on the board, and listing the current chairman, who was apparently appointed in 2010.

A little more search reveals that the real power in CA is the Thoroughbred Owners of Calfornia (TOC), which opposed federal legislation, the Horseracing Integrity Act, “that would make the United States Anti-Doping Agency the responsible party to regulate medication policy, enforcement and drug testing on a national basis.” The law would also ban the use of any medication less than 24 hr before a race. The bill basically wants horse racing to be governed by uniform, national standards, to replace the reportedly 38 separate jurisdictions that exist now. One effect of the Balkanization is that if an owner gets banned in one state, he can race in another state.

https://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/thoroughbred-owners-of-california-seeks-alternative-federal-legislation/

Btw, one of the bill's sponsors is Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, currently running for President.

Despite the efforts of Tonko and Gillibrand, the Senate bill may not reach the Senate floor. Churchill Downs in Kentucky, which does not support the bill, could kill its chances…opposition by the CEO of the home of the Kentucky Derby will likely sway Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who hails from the Bluegrass State.


Three dozen horses died in a single year at just one race track, Santa Anita, and postmortems revealed that 32 of them were on anti-inflammatories, which are basically used to keep a horse pushing through pain to train. Another commonly used drug, Lasix (furosemide), is a diuretic, used to accelerate urination and water loss, and can increase the risk of broken bones. Nominally, it’s used to reduce hemorrhaging from small vessels, but studies show that < 10% of horses have this problem, whereas nearly all of them are given Lasix.

“If the horse needs medication, then the horse shouldn’t be training or racing.”
Hmmm, where have I heard that argument before?

https://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2019/04/12/is-horse-racing-addicted-to-drugs-as-critics-charge-necropsies-reveal-strong-clues/

Nearly 10 horses a week on average died at American racetracks in 2018, according to the Jockey Club's Equine Injury Database. That fatality rate is two and a half to five times greater than in the rest of the horse racing world, the New York Times reported in June.(the Times also reported that 24 horses a week were dying)

NSAIDs made up 62% of the 109 medication violations at California racetracks in fiscal year 2017-18. Nine of the horses tested at more than double the limit for bute. In another 20 horses, two or more anti-inflammatories showed up in their blood and urine tests.

Violations can lead to a warning or fines ranging from $500 to $10,000, depending on the number of offenses in the same year and the amount of medication detected. Owners also can have their horse disqualified and lose the race’s purse in some circumstances

Though the CHRB does a small amount of out-of-competition testing, the bulk of its samples are collected from races. Approximately 20% of the horses at all meets are selected for testing, according to the CHRB. Less than 1% of drug testing in American horse racing is done out of competition, according to The Jockey Club.
 
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CHRB http://www.chrb.ca.gov/
CHRB's rules http://www.chrb.ca.gov/rules_law.html

An important point made in an article about this case:
One of the (multiple) structural problems for racing in America is that it is administered on a state-by-state basis. There is no regulator, like our British Horseracing Authority or France Galop across the Channel, in overall control.
When it comes to covering up positives I do think that events in the IAAF and Russia are more relevant.
 
Thanks. So you found a link, or maybe that button worked for you. The rule book is not indexed, so hard to find things, that said...

There are draconian penalties for what are called Category A or B violations,. For A penalties, the trainer is suspended for one year and has to pay a large fine. The owner has his horse and any winnings DQd, and the horse is out of action for three months. That’s for one violation in a year, with heavier penalties for two or three, so I guess those are encountered.

However, NSAIDs and Lasix are Category C violations (as is scopolamine, found in Justify), with a relatively small fine for the first violation in a year period, and 15 and 30 day suspensions for the second and third violations. Class D penalties, involving other drugs, result only in a fine for the trainer, and nothing for the owner. While there is a mandatory suspension for all positives of drugs in classes 1-3, scopolamine is a class 4 drug.

Category A drugs include opioids, amphetamine, and other drugs classified as Schedule I for humans, and class 1 or 2 by CHRB.

The complete list of substances, and their penalties (I doubt they test for most of them):


There are also penalties if the CO2 concentration in plasma exceeds a certain level. Maybe they should have that for cyclists, too :)
 
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Thanks. So you found a link, or maybe that button worked for you. The rule book is not indexed, so hard to find things, that said...

There are draconian penalties for what are called Category A or B violations,. For A penalties, the trainer is suspended for one year and has to pay a large fine. The owner has his horse and any winnings DQd, and the horse is out of action for three months. That’s for one violation in a year, with heavier penalties for two or three, so I guess those are encountered.

However, NSAIDs and Lasix are Category C violations (as is scopolamine, found in Justify), with a relatively small fine for the first violation in a year period, and 15 and 30 day suspensions for the second and third violations. Class D penalties, involving other drugs, result only in a fine for the trainer, and nothing for the owner. While there is a mandatory suspension for all positives of drugs in classes 1-3, scopolamine is a class 4 drug.

Category A drugs include opioids, amphetamine, and other drugs classified as Schedule I for humans, and class 1 or 2 by CHRB.

The complete list of substances, and their penalties (I doubt they test for most of them):


There are also penalties if the CO2 concentration in plasma exceeds a certain level. Maybe they should have that for cyclists, too :)
Re the bolded bit , in the Deadspin article, it says that the Board changed the designation of Scopolamine after Justify's positive, at the time it was a disqualification, which would have prevented him running the Derby - the race win where he tested positive got him the slot in the field.
 
the Board changed the designation of Scopolamine after Justify's positive
The June version of the rule book is here: http://www.chrb.ca.gov/policies_and_regulations/CHRB_Rule_Book_0619.pdf

The rule book is not indexed, so hard to find things
True that. Makes the UCI's multi-part rule book seem like a model of coherence.

Rule books like that, I tend to just do a Ctrl+F search looking for the reference to doping. Thing is, they don't say doping here. They do say drugs, but that relates to riders. I did eventually find the horse stuff deep-buried under tests, but that was more a final guess than a logical process.

This situation looks like a problem waiting to happen. A board of six or nine people, ultimately that's usually run by one or two people. If they are there to police and promote, they're not going to do either job adequately. This is part of the reason we got the WADA system, to stop personal fiefdoms like this. But, as the IAAF and the Russia stuff shows, WADA has been far from effective at stopping that.
 
The June version of the rule book is here: http://www.chrb.ca.gov/policies_and_regulations/CHRB_Rule_Book_0619.pdf


True that. Makes the UCI's multi-part rule book seem like a model of coherence.

Rule books like that, I tend to just do a Ctrl+F search looking for the reference to doping. Thing is, they don't say doping here. They do say drugs, but that relates to riders. I did eventually find the horse stuff deep-buried under tests, but that was more a final guess than a logical process.

This situation looks like a problem waiting to happen. A board of six or nine people, ultimately that's usually run by one or two people. If they are there to police and promote, they're not going to do either job adequately. This is part of the reason we got the WADA system, to stop personal fiefdoms like this. But, as the IAAF and the Russia stuff shows, WADA has been far from effective at stopping that.
Article on Scopolamine here with a history of its classification for US horse racing.

https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/235769/scopolamine-substance-in-middle-of-justify-scandal
 
Re the bolded bit , in the Deadspin article, it says that the Board changed the designation of Scopolamine after Justify's positive, at the time it was a disqualification, which would have prevented him running the Derby - the race win where he tested positive got him the slot in the field.
Ah, I remember reading about that, forgot it. In the rule book, there is a very specific passage saying that any positive involving a drug in Classes 1-3 is an immediate and mandatory suspension.

1859.5. Disqualification Upon Positive Test Finding.

A finding by the stewards that an official test sample from a horse participating in any race contained a prohibited drug substance as defined in this article, which is determined to be in class levels 1-3 under Rule 1843.2 of this division
, unless a split sample tested by the owner or trainer under Rule 1859.25 of this division fails to confirm the presence of the prohibited drug substance determined to be in class levels 1-3, shall require disqualification of the horse from the race in which it participated and forfeiture of any purse, award, prize or record for the race, and the horse shall be deemed unplaced in that race. Disqualification shall occur regardless of culpability for the condition of the horse.
In the current rule book, scopolamine is classified as Class 4. So apparently it was Class 3 previously. From the link on the drugs I posted previously, Class 3 drug positives require Category A or B penalties, usually B. A B penalty would have course DQd Justify from qualifying, and the horse would have to pass an exam in order to be eligible to enter any further races. Qualifying for the Derby involves a point system, with points accrued for top finishes in a series of races earlier in the season. Justify apparently entered only two of the previous races, so had to win or finish second at Santa Anita to qualify. With the win, it finished eighth in points among all horses, with the top 20 qualifying.

Santa Anita was about a month before the Derby, so if the rules were followed, maybe Justify could have raced again to qualify. There apparently was one more qualifying race left, a week after Santa Anita, the Arkansas Derby, and it had equal rank with Santa Anita, so I assume winning or finishing second in that would have qualified. But Baffert, the trainer, would have been suspended for 30 days, so could have been active for either the Arkansas race, or assuming Justify qualified, the Derby.
 
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