Saturday, November 04, 2017

Prohibited substance case under FEI anti-doping rules; RESPONSE

On October 30 Endurance.Net forwarded an FEI press notification of a banned substance offense and resulting suspension, http://news.endurance.net/2017/10/prohibited-substance-case-under-fei.html

We apologize for any personal distress over the publication, and sincerely hope that the resolution is favorable.

Steph Teeter

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The following is a personal response to the finding, forwarded at Ms Meuten’s request:

By now you may have heard that I, Nicki Meuten, have been suspended from endurance riding due to a positive drug test for the commonly used anti-depressant medication found in trace quantities in our horse Dutch’s post competition urine sample. This happened after the Coats Creek ride in Canada on July 3, 2017. We were just informed of the positive urine test result on October 16, 2017 and have been suspended pending the testing of the split sample and the FEI hearing on the matter.

Our horse tested positive for the metabolite of the human anti-depressant medication Effexor, o-desmethyl venlafaxine. Prior to being informed of Dutch’s test result I had never heard of this medication. We did not administer this substance to our horse nor do we give any banned medications to our horses at or prior to competition. Neither Don nor I take this medication. We have absolutely no idea how our horse could have ingested this substance.

I am devastated as this goes against everything I believe in. In our investigations so far we have found that this is a medication that can be found in waste water, sludge used for fertilizer on fields, and is one of the most common anti-depressant medications prescribed to people (17 million prescriptions in 2007). He could have easily been exposed to this medication in the competition environment prior to or at the event. His urine contained just small trace amounts of this substance (nanograms/parts per billion per milliliter of urine). It is a banned substance however, and according to FEI rules, no amount is permissible.

Laboratory testing methods are now so sensitive and environmental contamination by pharmaceutical products so common that situations like ours will occur regardless of the level of vigilance of the owner/trainer. We are working with multiple people to try to determine how this happened. We will then present this to FEI for their consideration at a hearing of the matter to be scheduled if the split sample results confirm the original lab results. If the split sample confirms the presence, a hearing will be conducted and the FEI will render a decision. Until then I cannot compete or attend an endurance ride even as a support person. If you think this could not happen to you, you are wrong. I will not be responding to anything on Facebook. If you want further information or facts about this please contact Don at don_meuten@ncsu.edu.