10/17/2013 5:24PM

Delaware Park: Trainer's syringes had active ingredient in Cialis

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The substances found in the Delaware Park barn of Donald Roberson that led to the trainer receiving a two-year suspension were compounded drugs, one of which contained the active ingredient in Cialis and the other containing a drug that may have been used in an attempt to increase a horse’s stamina, according to drug-testing officials and chemists.

The substances were found in loaded syringes when Roberson’s barn at Delaware Park was searched July 13. One of the substances was labeled “GTO Accelerator,” and the other was labeled “SK360.” Manufacturers of compounded veterinary products often give their products quirky names and many times do not list the ingredients.

After being forwarded to the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, the substances were sent to the HFL Sports Science Lab in Lexington, Ky., for analysis. The substance labeled “GTO Accelerator” contained dichloroacetic acid, according to the RMTC, while the substance labeled “SK360” contained tadalafil, which is marketed under the trade name Cialis to improve blood flow in humans and induce erections.

A number of online marketers advertise tadalafil pills and similar drugs for horses, including Cialis’s competitor, Viagra. The class of drugs are known as PDE5 inhibitors. It is unlikely that the drugs have any effect on racehorses, officials say, but they are illegal to administer, regardless of their efficacy.

“Some PDE5-type inhibitors have been researched for their potential to decrease lung capillary pressure in horses and thereby possibly decrease the likelihood of bleeding into the lungs,” said Dr. Dionne Benson, the executive director of the RMTC, in a statement. “These substances are sometimes administered on race day as adjunct bleeder medications. The research has shown, however, that the dose required to produce an effect cannot be maintained.”

Dichloroacetic acid, meanwhile, can prevent the formation of lactic acid, the chemical that builds up in fatigued muscles. Many trainers have experimented with substances to prevent the buildup of lactic acid, with the goal of increasing a horse’s stamina in a process called bicarbonate loading. To combat those activities, horses in many jurisdictions are tested for total carbon dioxide (TCO2) in the blood prior to running.

Dichloroacetic acid “would act similarly to bicarbonate treatment but would not be detectable using a test for TCO2 or bicarbonate,” said Dr. Rick Sams, the head of the HFL lab, also in a statement. “It would likely be used on race day to increase stamina and speed in the horse.”

Roberson was banned from Delaware Park four days after the search and was later suspended for two years by the Delaware Park stewards. The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission on Wednesday upheld the suspension.

The analysis of the samples was performed under a new program implemented by the RMTC to rapidly test drugs that are seized on backstretches or from trainers or veterinarians. The program has tested a handful of substances over the past 12 months, with the vast majority sold by compounders or Internet marketers and having no efficacy.

Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
funny how they say these concoctions don't have any effect on horses yet they have no testing to prove what they say they simply extrapolate the amount that affects humans and try to imagine how much more would be needed for a horse. But the facts are that trainers spend a lot of money on these and I doubt they would for no reason further anecdotal proof comes from the statistics of trainers before and after they are caught using these drugs usually they win at around 36 to 40 % before and about 8% after. a very famous vet involved with many commented in a publication that only minute amounts are need to dope a racehorse much smaller doses than in humans even though the horse is much bigger. When clenbuterol was brought to the states and to the racetrack it too was for humans and had a much stronger effect on horses.so much so that it became immensely popular and it worked wonders until it was regulated.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Clenbuterol is banned by every anti doping agency in the world as a performance enhancer. It is hardly regulated, it is listed as a legal therapeutic bronchial dilator. It cannot be in the system on a post race test. With a two week withdrawal, now you know why horses race once every six weeks. It is used for the anabolic steroidal like properties.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Horse racing needs a USADA. Start with big tracks CD, SA, BEL, DELMAR, KEE, SAR.
Bob Fritz More than 1 year ago
Cialis--because you never know when the time is right to cash a bet.
russell More than 1 year ago
Most of the stuff they are giving is masking drugs/vitamins for something greater. Until hair/dna testing is done no one will know who is clean
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
3 for 24, this will be on myth busters next week
mrbelmont More than 1 year ago
could be the only 3 he bet on
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
You might be right
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
I say ban every horse the trainer has for the same amount of time the trainer is suspended, the owner will help clean this up. They would be losing money.
jackdsplns More than 1 year ago
There are certain owners that win a ridiculous percentage of races with multiple trainers. They might be encouraging their trainers to cheat. Your idea of banning all the scum trainers horses would be a good one but there already is a horse shortage.Besides,banning the trainers doesn't mean anything. Look at Dutrow ,his horses are running under his girlfriend's name ,he's still calling the shots.
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
If they start banning these guys for life, maybe we could some changes. Sixty days.? They have an assistant take over and the trainer is still in charge. There will always be some new substance, and a sleazy trainer willing to try it.
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
The racing game stinks. Take everything except lasix and ban it. No vitamin injections, no nothing.
Steve S More than 1 year ago
Why Lasix? If a horse is a bleeder, DON'T LET HIM RACE
Ann More than 1 year ago
Overseas, horses who bleed once are 'suspended' (forbidden to race) for 6 months; if they bleed a second time, they are banned from racing. One school of thought is that profligate use of Bute and other NSAIDs is what causes all the bleeding we are seeing these days; maybe if these are banned, the need for Lasix will diminish to nothing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This reminds me... What about the numerous winstrol positives at Delaware Park???
Rob Driscoll More than 1 year ago
wait a second....is this guy related to kenneth pinyan?