GABA, Carolina Gold Use Discovered at USEF Competitions

As announced earlier this year, any product containing gama aminobutyric acid (GABA) is deemed a forbidden substance under United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) rules. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and is a principal ingredient of the product "Carolina Gold."

As a reminder, because there are no recognized medical uses for this substance, the use of a Medication Report Form to report its administration is not applicable under USEF rules. Currently, GABA positives have been detected and are pending enforcement through the USEF's Regulations Department for adjudication by the USEF Hearing Committee. Trainers and veterinarians involved in the sale or use of this substance could be subject to significant fines and/or suspensions.

GABA was also added to the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Equine Prohibited Substances List as a banned substance and its presence in any equine sample would be a violation under the Equine Anti-Doping Rules. Individuals considered "Persons Responsible" for using a banned substance could receive a two year suspension and up to a 15,000 CHF fine for a first offense. The penalty could be enhanced for a repeat offender.

This penalty structure might be applicable for violations at USEF national competitions, and a violation of this rule could subject an individual to a two year suspension and a significant fine.

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