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Soring at the Olympics
Norway will be stripped of its medal and 2 other horses have tested positive for capsaicin.
This is why I'm against all serious competition. It increases the potential for abuse no matter what the sport. Sure the riders will disqualified but it's too late for those horses now - They have already suffered.
Actually if you read the article again, it says Norway (and others) COULD be stripped of its medal but are undergoing second testing to make sure of details. Remember what happened to Ludger Beerbaum at the last olympics. He was found guilty for some substance but it turned out that it was in a topical ointment for a skin irritation that gives no advantage in competition. I haven't heard of using capsaicin to make their legs more sensitive but it's actually fairly common in several liniments/anti-inflammatory products. In fact, i've used Equi-Block on some of my horses after they've worked hard at a show. Equi-Block's description is "It is a unique menthol/capsaicin "feel good rub" indicated for the relief of minor aches and pains. It penetrates deep to soothe joints, tighten ligaments and tendons, and help reduce swelling.". So we don't know exactly why the capsaicin is in their system yet. What's stupid is that by that this level they should know what's allowed and what's not! And if they WERE using it for soring, are they stupid enough to think their horses wouldn't be tested!?
Capsaicin is banned, so why would they use it except if they were trying to cheat? Obviously they thought they could get away with it. And it burns - it would work perfectly well for soring.
I don't know how much capsaicin was found in their system or why but Equi-Block is not an uncomfortable "burn". I know. I've used it. :) I tried it when I strained my wrist. It removed all pain. Gave my skin a weird hot tingly feeling (not too different from Icy-Hot) but by no means painful and definitely not cruel.
I'm not saying that these people can't be guilty but I think it's important to believe innocent until proven guilty. Show jumpers use A LOT of products to help their horses perform better and the drug lists/instructions are long and complicated.
Banned means pretty much banned though. I read in another report that the riders knew it was banned and used it anyway.
Capsaicin itself most definitely can be painful if you put on too much of it... I know, I've tried it.
It's not the cheating that bothers me - that happens in all sports. It's trying to make your horse feel pain so they perform better. This is not the usual doping issue.
Capsaicin is an ingredient in Equi block and other similar products and it burns like you know what!
ESPECIALLY once you start moving around and your muscles start warming up with the topical on top - it can be really bad.
I'm not saying that they used Equi-Block, I'm saying they could have used a product like equi-block that contains capsaicin for pain relieving/anti inflammatory purposes, not purposely putting their horse in pain so they perform better. Since there are 4 of them I'm kind of doubting it, but like I said earlier I think it's important to find out the final verdict before jumping to conclusions about abuse.
If capsaicin is an ingredient - which is it in a lot of those products, it wouldn't matter, it's illegal. Having those horses be more sensitive to the jumps because of it does give them an unfair advantage (albeit a somewhat painful one!).
People will continue to do that because they think they won't get caught!!! It's crazy!
Just found an article that said the B-sample from the horses won't be analyzed until Saturday.
I watched the individual jumping final (I normally don't watch horse sports, only in the Olympics) and officials were removing the horses' boots after their rounds to "check their legs" so obviously they think it was soring.
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