Weird: Powerful drug from frogs found in NM racehorses
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In one of the weirdest stories we’ve come across, the New York Times published a story Tuesday (June 19) disclosing that race horses in as many as four states — including New Mexico — have been found to have traces of a “powerful performance-enhancing potion drawn from the backs of a type of South American frog.”
It turns out that the frog can produce a painkiller more powerful than morphine. According to the Times article, officials have suspected that some trainers had been drugging race horses but the substance — called dermorphin — could not be detected in most post-race tests. But that changed when a laboratory in near Denver changed its procedures and, as a result, more than 40 horses came back with tentative positive tests.
The horses with tentative positives were found in New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma and is suspected in Texas as well.
From the Times article:
Vince Mares, executive director of the New Mexico Racing Commission, said Tuesday that a California lab had found dermorphin in six postrace tests in New Mexico. An industry consultant said another dozen suspected positive tests in New Mexico are awaiting confirmation.
Mares and the state racing commission have been trying to clamp down on unscrupulous trainers and owners in New Mexico in recent months — passing new regulations banning the drug Clenbuterol (often abused because it helps horses build muscle) earlier this year — and are meeting this week in Albuquerque where the commission’s board is expected to adopt more uniform rules in accordance with the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) for race tracks in the state to follow.
It’s widely believed that a horse that is drugged with painkillers will run harder because they couldn’t feel any injuries they may suffer from.
Read the entire Times article by clicking here.
Hat tip to PNS NM.