Sunday, September 28, 2008

US Olympic Dressage Team

The US Olympic Dressage Team recently was stripped of its 4th place finish when Courtney King-Dye's horse was found to have trace amounts of a drug called felbinac.

Now, I don't pretend to be an expert, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but this drug isn't used, manufactured, or available in this country. It's used in Asian countries. It can also be transferred via a person who might have it on their hands and touched the horse. Courtney's horse treated at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

An article in Dessage Daily explains the situation more clearly than any other article I've read. I feel sorry for Courtney, as it appears she has no knowledge of how the substance was administered to her horse. Yet most articles I've read have been vague and just report a few facts. In a web search, I found articles on ESPN, Washington Post, and other large news sites. No mention was made of the details in the Dressage Daily article. Unfortunately, this lack of information makes her appear guilty.

It's so easy to damage a reputation and so hard to get it back. There will be those who will never read or examine all the facts and will assume that she knowingly drugged her horse for a competitive advantage. That does not appear to be the case.

According to what I read, there were only trace amounts of the drug found as mentioned in the Dressage Daily article:

"However, after doing more research on the drug and having a bio-chemist analyze the data, we learned that the trace amount found in Myth's system could occur from something as distant and arbitrary as a person using Felbinac on their knee then using a broom, then someone else uses the broom and shakes my groom's hand, and then my groom touches my horse. In the sampling, 14 nanograms per milliliter were found. It takes 7,500 to 100,000 nanograms per milliliter to have an effect on a rat." --Dressage Daily, Sept. 23, 2008

It makes you wonder why all of the horses as the Olympics didn't test positive!

While I understand the FEI's position, the entire incident is a shame. Not that this was intentional, but what a way to knock off your competition. Hmmm. I see a book in this somewhere.

My heart goes out to Courtney and the Team, as it appears to me that they are innocent of any wrong-doing.


Anonymous said...

That's one of those details that the mainstream media will most certainly overlook. So many news stories about horses and horse-keeping are covered by people in a hurry, even if they have some knowledge of horses, and with little time to check out all of the angles.

Laura Crum said...

You're so right, Jami, it would make a great mystery plot. I have found that real life is inevitably weirder than any far-fetched mystery plot I can come up with.

Unknown said...

This is disgusting and simply another bureaucratic decision that lacks any human compansion or logical sense, its a shame the equestrian team was punished so.