22.214.171.124 | Message modified by user rosalita208 6/20/2012, 9:23 am
Here's another one. Go get 'em, NY Times.
Racing regulators kept hearing the reports: trainers were giving their horses a powerful performance-enhancing potion drawn from the backs of a type of South American frog. But for months postrace testing could not find the substance, a painkiller far more powerful than morphine.
Then a lab in the Denver area tweaked its testing procedure, and in recent weeks more than 30 horses from four states have tested positive for the substance, dermorphin, which is suspected of helping horses run faster.
The discovery comes as the racing industry is struggling to counter perceptions of a pervasive drug culture. Indeed, dermorphin is the latest in a long list of illegal performance-enhancing drugs that have found their way onto racetracks. Dermorphin is a broad pain suppressant that is 40 times more powerful than morphine, Dr. Barker said.
If horses cannot feel their injuries, veterinarians say, they are more likely to run harder than they otherwise would.
Craig W. Stevens, a professor of pharmacology at Oklahoma State University who has studied dermorphin, said the substance makes animals “hyper.”
“In a race, it would be beneficial,” he said. “The animal wouldn’t feel pain, and it would have feelings of excitation and euphoria.”
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