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Re: RC: It's a Drug.

Not that I disagree with you Kat, this substance is a drug because it does have a
pharmacological effect, but the same can be said about ice boots!  Ice boots applied
properly can have a very strong anti-inflammatory effect. I've heard at least one very
well know endurance vet state that there is little way a unsound horse could do a 50
mile ride on bute and finish, but I would expect an unsound horse could complete a 50
ride with judicious use of ice boots.

Is ice a drug? The drug issue is tricky. If something doesn't test is it a drug? Well
yes and no. It's pharmacological effect may indicate it is a drug, but legally cannot
be classified for enforcement because it does not test.

In the 99 Tour de France, there was a scandal over the use of a blood doping drug.
There was no test so their drug policy was unenforceable. In a recent "Scientific
American" article there was an article on the next generation of performance enhancing
drugs. These are compounds that will cause genetic changes in the athletic. This type
of enhancement is absolutely undetectable, hence cannot be outlawed!  It is becoming a
"Brave New World."

Back to Rule 13. The bottom line, if it doesn't test, then it is not in violation of
Rule 13 - pure and simple.  I have read the arguments starting with the origination of
this rule, long before Ridecamp was a gleam in Steph's eye, over why the drug rule is
as is and in theory it sounds good. Take an example from drug laws in the US. Our
courts will not allow prosecution for the possession of a substance that is not
specifically described as a prohibited substance. You can not write a law that is
vague enough to catch the "designer drugs" when they first come out. You could but the
courts would throw them out. The architects of Rule 13 understood this and didn't want
to get into this quagmire, as the AHSA did. However, any rule we have will have to
withstand the challenge of a court - which it may just have to do some day, and I do
not believe Rule 13 would if applied to substances which are not considered by the
community of experts at large to be a drug, e.g., bute.

So our rule is fine as long as no one challenges it. When it is challenged it doesn't
really matter what is written, what matters is a) does it test and b) is it a
substance that is considered by the community of experts at large to be a drug. On the
latter matter I asked by own vet, who does test for the FL winter Grand Prix circuit,
about Rule 13. His comment was, "hope they never have to enforce it on a horse worth a
million dollars, because they will lose."  This is not good bad or indifferent, it is
a fact of life in the US. We do in the final analysis have to live within the legal
structure of guilt has to be proved beyond a resonable doubt.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with Rule 13 and support it, but as more money creeps into
the sport and as FEI competition becomes more a mainstream part of the sport which
mixes different concepts of drug policy, then we will probably find that we will have
to revisit the drug issue to make it more bullet proof to challenge.


"" wrote:

> Just because current drug tests do not test for metabolites of the chemical
> compounds contained the herbs that have the above stated pharmacological
> effects, there should be little doubt in anybody's mind (no matter how strict
> of a definition used for the term "drug"), that using APF on an endurance horse
> would be in violation of the AERC's rule 13 (despite the assertion that current
> drug tests would not pick it up, and therefore it is unlikely that anybody
> using it is likely to get caught).  The fact that it is allowed by the
> medications rules of the AHSA is of no consequence when determining if it is
> allowed by AERC rules.  The AHSA has gone to the trouble of making a list of
> forbidden medications...and, apparently, this medication is not on it.  That
> doesn't mean that it isn't a medication; there are lots of medications that are
> not on the AHSA's list.

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