Racehorse trainers in New Zealand have been reminded that their horses could fail a urine test if any preparations used to control crib biting contain capsaicin oil.
Capsaican oil, derived from chillies, was the substance that resulted in several disqualifications at the Beijing Olympics.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing’s veterinary adviser Dr Andrew Grierson said any preparation used to control crib biting and wood chewing that contained capsaicin oil or any other derivative of capsaicin had the potential to cause a positive urine test.
Contamination can occur by ingestion or absorption through the skin of a horse.
No horse that is entered in a race should be in contact with any source of capsaicin at least two days prior to the day of a race, Grierson said.
Potential contamination includes not only the direct application to the tail or mane of a horse entered in a race but any paddock mate with capsaicin applied to it that is in contact with a horse entered in a race.
Objects such as horse box walls, where crib biting products are used to prevent wood chewing, are also potential sources of capsaicin contamination.