Positive Zilpaterol Tests Cleared, Feed Contamination Cited

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), citing feed contamination, has dismissed 48 positive tests for zilpaterol.

The feed contamination appears to have occurred in mid-February, with the first positive detected from a race run March 1. The CHRB ruled that the cases from March 1 to March 26 have or will be dismissed.

The CHRB said the contaminated feed has been identified, as described in a March 22 advisory, and horsemen are or should be aware of the contaminated feed. If trainers have removed the feed, residues of zilpaterol in horses should be eliminated by the end of March.

In the March 22 advisory, the CHRB said it concluded a number of sweet feed products containing a molasses base produced by Purina at its Turlock, Calif., mill contain zilpaterol, which is prohibited in racing. Zilpaterol is a beta-2 agonist used to promote weight gain in livestock. Association of Racing Commissioners International classifies zilpaterol as a Class 3 drug with a Category A penalty.

In a March 22 written statement, Purina said, "Purina Animal Nutrition is fully cooperating with the CHRB. Zilpaterol is not used at the Turlock facility, and we continue with our own investigation, including discussions with our suppliers.

"However, if you are not comfortable using these products until our investigation is complete, please work with your dealer to return the product," the statement continued.

Originally published on BloodHorse.com.

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