Wednesday, November 25, 2009

World of equestrianism dismayed after FEI take 'bute' off banned list - Full Article

By Pippa Cuckson
19 Nov 2009

The controlled use of phenylbutazone ("bute"), banned 20 years ago, and two other anti-inflammatories will be allowed in competition after the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) voted to reintroduce them by 53-42, to audible gasps of dismay from the floor.

Major equestrian federations including the USA, Sweden, Germany, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland spoke passionately against the move at the FEI's General Assembly in Copenhagen yesterday, but with many third countries emerging in the sport with limited expertise in the management of the soundness of top class competition horses, the argument against was always going to be difficult to win.

A wide package of anti-doping reforms were passed by 90 votes to eight, but the controversy lay in the separate choice between continuing with the current list of prohibited substances, and adopting a "progressive list."

The latter does not prohibit phenylbutazone (up to 8 mcg/ml in plasma or serum), three times the level tolerated in the 1980s before the ban, salicyclic acid (up to 750mcg/ml in urine and up to 6.5 mcg/ml in plasma or serum) and flunixin (up to 500 mcg/ml in plasma or serum,) so long as those substances are not detected in a horse's sample above the prescribed limits noted and are used in isolation and not combined.


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