Journal Article

Detection of Various Performance Enhancing Substances in Specimens Collected from Race Horses in Illinois: A Five-Year Experience*

Lisa Taddei, Marc Benoit, Andre Sukta, Joshua Peterson, R.E. Gaensslen and Adam Negrusz

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 35, issue 7, pages 438-443
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/anatox/35.7.438
Detection of Various Performance Enhancing Substances in Specimens Collected from Race Horses in Illinois: A Five-Year Experience*

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In order to protect the integrity of horse racing in Illinois, a complex testing of urine and blood specimens collected post-race from winning and special designation horses is continuously conducted. The initial screening by immunoassays was followed by the confirmation on presumptive positive samples. Instrumental screening was also conducted. Perimortem and postmortem specimens and special exhibits (syringes, needles, etc.) were also analyzed. The administration of alkalinizing agents was detected by measuring the total plasma carbon dioxide concentration. The laboratory analyzed specimens collected post race from winning horses and special designation horses at eight race tracks in the State of Illinois over the five-year time period (2004–2009). The total number of specimens collected was 91,808, comprising 45,210 urine specimens and 46,598 blood specimens. The total number of violations was 413 (0.45% of the total number of specimens analyzed); 207 were blood specimens (0.44% of the total blood specimens analyzed), and 206 were urine specimens (0.45% of the total urine specimens analyzed). A total of 220 violations were reported for harness horses, and 193 were reported for Thoroughbred horses. The number of reported violations of the total tested specimens in Illinois was small, but a wide variety of performance-enhancing drugs was shown.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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