Hong Kong Racehorse Drug Positives Due to Contaminated Feed

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has determined that the banned substance zilpaterol found in tests taken from 12 racehorses trained by P. F. Yiu was the result of contaminated feed, and has determined that a second feed product used by trainers has similarly been contaminated.

Zilpaterol is a beta-2 agonist used to promote weight gain in livestock, but the drug is prohibited in racing. In North America, the Association of Racing Commissioners International classifies zilpaterol as a Class 3 drug with a Category A penalty.

Following the positives for horses trained by Yiu that had raced June 2 at Sha Tin Racecourse and at Happy Valley on June 5, stewards "immediately undertook an exhaustive testing regime of all products used by Mr. Yiu which may have been administered to horses trained by him."

Those tests revealed the presence of zilpaterol in feed used by Yiu and subsequent tests detected the prohibited substance in another feed used by trainers in Hong Kong. Neither feed manufacturer was identified.

The HKJC announced June 13 that alternative feeds were being made available to all trainers who previously used feed that could be contaminated. They are also testing urine samples from approximately 80 horses scheduled to race at Sha Tin on June 16 that have previously been exposed to the two contaminated products.

Earlier this year, the California Horse Racing Board dismissed 48 positive tests for zilpaterol after it was determined that the source of the drug was a contaminated sweet feed. Most of the positive tests were from horses training at the Cal Expo harness track and resulted in temporary restrictions on food vendors delivering certain types of feed at California tracks. The prohibitions were lifted after the manufacturer provided feed that tested negative for any contamination.

Originally published on BloodHorse.com.

About the Author

Ron Mitchell/The Horse

Ron Mitchell is Online Managing Editor for The Blood-Horse magazine. A Lexington native, Mitchell joined The Blood-Horse after serving in editorial capacities with The Thoroughbred Record and Thoroughbred Times, specializing in business and auction aspects of the industry, and was editor-in-chief of the award-winning Horsemen’s Journal. As online managing editor, Mitchell works closely with The Blood-Horse news editor and other departments to make sure the website content is the most thorough and accurate source for all Thoroughbred news, results, videos, and data.

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