Aminorex Racehorse Mystery Clarified
Aurora, OH (March 17, 2007) - Over the past 2 + years, racehorses (principally Standardbreds) have tested positive for the amphetamine, Aminorex. This drug is a Class 1 substance, where positives result in a 1-5 year suspension from racing. Progressively, rumors have circulated that certain products may incorporate an ingredient that is not on the label, including Freedom Health’s product: SUCCEED(R) Digestive Conditioning Program(R) [“SUCCEED”].
Freedom Health employed a federally accredited analytical toxicology laboratory to conduct independent, random sampling of SUCCEED and analyze these samples using LC/MS/MS analytical procedures for the presence of Aminorex. These LC/MS/MS procedures are the standard procedures used by the federal government and racing commissions for the detection of Aminorex in biological samples.
The LC/MS/MS analysis of random samples of SUCCEED, both oral paste and granular forms, were NEGATIVE for the presence of Aminorex.
In an effort to further elucidate the reasons behind the rash of Aminorex positives in the horse racing community, Freedom Health has learned the following:
1. Using the same LC/MS/MS standard procedures for the detection of Aminorex, when a commonly used over the counter anthelmetic, injectable levamisole phosphate, is assayed directly from the original container, the laboratory reported that it contains a substance that has a similar molecular weight to Aminorex. However, it has a different extraction time, which indicates that it is NOT Aminorex. Other commercially available products, including the non-injectable forms of levamisole, were NOT found to contain this same compound using the same analytical LC/MS/MS procedures.
2. When horses were administered a variety of commercially available wormers and urinalysis was conducted by the laboratory using LC/MS/MS procedures for the detection of Aminorex, it reported that the aforesaid compound was only detected in the urine of horses administered injectable levamisole phosphate. Additionally, laboratory results showed two other compounds were detected only in the urine of horses administered injectable levamisole phosphate. These two additional compounds have the same molecular weight as Aminorex, but only one of these compounds had an identical extraction time to Aminorex, indicating a potential positive result for detection of Aminorex.
3. Using GC/MS analytical techniques to further elucidate the exact chemical structure of this potential Aminorex compound, laboratory analysis found that this compound was Aminorex.
4. Laboratory results indicate that the levels of Aminorex in urine from horses administered injectable levamisole phosphate parallel those reported in past and current positive results as handed down by racing authorities.
To summarize, the laboratory results indicate that in our study ONLY the horses receiving the injectable levamisole phosphate product, either orally or intramuscularly, resulted in an Aminorex positive result. Aminorex was NOT found in the product itself, only in the urine of treated horses after administration of this product, and never in the urine of horses receiving other anthelmetic products.
John Hall, President and CEO of Freedom Health LLC said “It was vital that we not only exonerate SUCCEED, but also that we determine the true cause of these positives to dispel any residual innuendoes. Dr. Franklin L. Pellegrini, Vice-President of Veterinary Affairs, has combined his investigatory analyses of the past two years with the independent analysis of one of the most highly regarded analytical toxicology teams in the country to finally resolve this conundrum: Petra G. Hartmann, Director, Drug Testing Services, and her colleagues at The Industrial Laboratories Company Inc. On February 1, 2007, we invited Ohio State Racing Commission to monitor this independent analysis before we commenced. After due consideration at the highest levels, they declined on February 5.”
Dr. Frank Pellegrini said “Friends, colleagues and erstwhile clients have sought my help when caught in the Aminorex test “trap”. It has made absolutely no sense that reputable trainers would deliberately use a Class 1 substance, where the recommended penalty effectively results in a loss of livelihood; much less continue to do so when a valid test exists for this drug. For two years, I have attempted to identify a common thread. My investigations became more urgent as progressive rumors circulated that SUCCEED could be the culprit. Finally, in January, I believed I had identified this common factor. It then became imperative that any testing be independent, by the most capable team in the United States. I therefore approached Petra Hartmann with my concerns, and asked that she test SUCCEED, and my suspect materials. I chose The Industrial Laboratories Inc., because Ms. Hartmann is the vice-chair of the Association of Racing Commissioners International Testing Integrity Program. We received the final report today. I am delighted that we can be a part of resolving this matter for the overall benefit of horse racing in both the USA and Canada.”
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