Stiff Penalties Tied to Drugs 'Purple Pain,' 'TB-500'

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) has noted that two substances available only through compounding pharmacies are unclassified medications that will be regarded as high-level violations if used in racing.

The RMTC Tactical Research Committee has reviewed data from laboratory analysis of the two substances of concern in racing that have been marketed as powerfully effective drugs: "Purple Pain" and "TB-500."

Both of these substances are non-FDA-approved and only available through compounding pharmacies. Accordingly, under the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) guideline regarding unclassified medications and foreign substances, the RMTC recommends that any administration of these substances be treated as a prohibited act and that a finding for either substance or their metabolites be treated as a finding for a prohibited substance.

As such, these substances should be treated as an Association of Racing Commissioners Class 1 substance (highest level violation) with Class A penalty guidelines (most severe) attached.

The results of these studies and additional information on those drugs was provided in recent bulletins issued by the RMTC to horse racing drug-testing laboratories, the Organization of Racing Investigators, and the RCI.

Purple Pain is marketed as a pain reliever. TB-500 is claimed by some marketing materials to build muscle, speed muscle recovery, stop bleeding, increase red blood cells, and decrease inflammation.

"This effort is part of the RMTC's renewed focus on identifying and detecting illicit substances and eliminating them from racing," stated RMTC scientific advisory committee co-chair Rick Arthur, DVM. "This type of work is intended to ensure the integrity of racing as well as the safety of the equine and human athletes."

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis), Kenneth L. Maddy Laboratory, an RMTC accredited laboratory, performed analysis on samples of both of these compounds. Those results were shared with the RMTC.

"We are grateful to the UC Davis Kenneth L. Maddy Laboratory and the California Horse Racing Board for sharing this information with the RMTC," said RMTC chairman Robert Lewis, DVM. "The pooling of efforts allows the RMTC and all racing stakeholders to make limited funding dollars stretch further."

Originally published on

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