07/02/2013 1:19PM

RMTC adds two drugs to banned medication list


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium advised racing commissions on Tuesday that two products being sold by online pharmacies should be treated as Class A prohibited medications despite the dubious performance-enhancing claims made by the manufacturers of the products.

The advisory said that the administration of the two products, Purple Pain and TB-500, should be treated as a “prohibited practice” under new rules that allow for the therapeutic use of only 24 drugs in racing. Drugs that are Class A require the toughest penalties if they are found in post-race samples or if regulators can prove they were administered to horses.

Purple Pain, an injectable, is marketed as a painkiller by its manufacturer and sells for $25 a shot. Its manufacturer states that it can be used up to 90 minutes prior to a race. TB-500 is a synthetic peptide whose manufacturer claims it can be used to build muscle mass and aid in the recovery from exercise, with effects similar to anabolic steroids, which are prohibited for non-therapeutic use in racing. The manufacturer, which sells TB-500 for $275 a vial, states that the substance is “drug free.”

Purple Pain was recently analyzed by the University of California-Davis drug-testing lab. The substance was found to contain only amino acids, and its claims of reducing pain are considered highly dubious. Nevertheless, the substance was analyzed by the lab because of rumors that some horsemen were administering it on raceday, officials have said, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Dr. Rick Sams, the director of the HFL laboratory in Lexington and a consultant to the RMTC, said the tests on Purple Pain revealed that horsemen should be wary of many substances making the rounds at racetracks.

“Hopefully the result is educational for horse trainers to make them more knowledgeable about these products,” Sams said. “Maybe they will read the labels of these things a little more carefully.”

Neither of the two substances is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.