FEI urges caution over use of muscle product in sport horses

FEI Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
FEI Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The FEI has urged caution over the use of an Argentinian equine muscle product called Fustex because it may contain propoxyphene, which is banned under the world governing body’s drug rules.

Fustex is manufactured by Chinfield S.A. and is used in particular to stimulate muscle work.

The FEI, in an official communication, said propoxyphene was not listed as an ingredient of Fustex in the product information made available by the manufacturer.

Propoxyphene is a banned substance under the FEI Equine Prohibited List, and its use at any time, as well as its presence in a horse’s sample at any time, constitutes an Equine Anti-Doping Rule violation.

The FEI said it was therefore cautioning stakeholders against its use.

“Lack of knowledge regarding the ingredients of Fustex will not be a valid excuse in any Equine Anti-Doping procedures,” the FEI said.

It reminded horse owners of the warning it issued earlier this year over the use of supplements. The FEI said horse owners should be aware that it was not unusual for supplements and herbal remedies marketed within the equine industry or over the internet to contain banned substances or controlled medication substances that were not disclosed on the product label.

“It is also possible that those substances are contained in different amounts in the supplement, herbal remedies, etc, than stated on the label, or the product used may have been inadvertently contaminated with a banned or controlled medication substance.

“There is no guarantee that the ingredients list on any supplement, herbal remedy, etc, is accurate.”

The FEI pointed to positive tests on horses in the past that had resulted from the use of supplements or herbal remedies.

“Persons Responsible are responsible for what their horses ingest and they are, therefore, responsible for any substance found in a sample provided by their horse.

“A contaminated supplement will not excuse a positive doping test, and sanctions will be imposed in accordance with the rules.”

The FEI said horse owners must take all steps to verify the ingredients of any medicines and supplements that they choose to give their horse. “The FEI’s message is: ‘If in any doubt, do not give it to your horse’.”

An FEI Tribunal decision released late last March dealt with a positive test for propoxyphene in a post-race drug test in a horse who competed in an endurance race in the United Arab Emirates.

The rider had contended that the use of Fustex may have resulted in the positive result, and that his inquiries had shown the product contained propoxyphene.

The tribunal, traversing the evidence, said a sample of Fustex ordered by the FEI from Chinfield S.A. and directly delivered to the Horseracing Forensic Laboratory had undergone analysis which revealed the presence of propoxyphene.

The FEI noted that Fustex listed paradiphenbutirate as its main ingredient, which was an unknown chemical term, and that according to the manufacturer of Fustex, paradiphenbutirate had been listed and used as synonymous for dextropropoxyphene.

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