New Zealand’s racing and sporthorse authorities have issued advisories saying that the use of an equine nutritional supplement called Syncrofen could result in horses returning a positive drug test.
The substance in question is caffeine.
The veterinary general for Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ), Tony Parsons, in a notice to all riders, said Syncrofen had produced several positive post-race drug tests in the racing industry, with traces of caffeine detected.
Caffeine is on the FEI list of prohibited substances, meaning a positive test would result in disqualification from ESNZ and FEI competitions.
The clearance time for caffeine can be up to 10 days.
Parsons said the positive test results highlighted the care that must be taken when using “natural” supplements.
He said any rider or owner unsure about any substance being given to a horse should check the FEI’s Prohibited Substance Database
Racing authorities issued an advisory to all trainers.
The Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) advised Harness Racing New Zealand and New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing of its concerns relating to Syncrofen.
The product advertising stated that it was “The Natural and Safe Alternative”, it said.
“The RIU has firm ground to believe that the product … contains substances which could give rise to a positive drug test result,” the statement said.
The RIU had become aware of Syncrofen being marketed online and sold through feed merchants.
The website Syncroflexha.com describes Syncrofen as an equine and canine dietary supplement, saying it is made from pure plant extract and contains amino acids.
It described the product as completing a balanced diet during strenuous work.
The product, it said, was developed and produced in New Zealand.
Its website states that the supplement is not suitable for horses in competition, as it might result in a positive test for caffeine.
Horse owners can also download the FEI Clean Sport app (Apple and Android) to their phones for quick and easy access to information on prohibited substances. It can be found here.