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GABA and "Carolina Gold" Use Discovered at USEF Competitions

RELEASE: July 25, 2012
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: The USEF Communications Department

Lexington, KY -  As announced earlier this year, any product containing gama aminobutyric acid (GABA) is deemed a forbidden substance under USEF Rules. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and is a principal ingredient of "Carolina Gold."

As a reminder, because there are no recognized medical uses for this substance, the use of a Medication Report Form to report its administration is NOT applicable under USEF rules. Currently, GABA positives have been detected and are pending enforcement through the USEF's Regulations Department for adjudication by the USEF Hearing Committee. Trainers and veterinarians involved in the sale or use of this substance may be subject to significant fines and/or suspensions.

GABA was also added to the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List as a Banned Substance and its presence in any equine sample would be a violation under the Equine Anti-Doping Rules. It is important to note that individuals considered  "Persons Responsible" for using a Banned Substance may receive a two year suspension and up to a 15,000 CHF fine for a first offense. The penalty may be enhanced for a repeat offender.

This penalty structure may be applicable for violations at USEF national competitions. A violation of this rule may subject an individual to a two year suspension and a significant fine.

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