Saturday, 19 January 2013


I suppose one of the biggest stories in the world at the moment is Lance Armstrong admitting to being a drug cheat.
Well, admitting in his own way, while defending his actions and trying to apportion the blame to a variety of circumstances and people.
Sorry Lance, you did it, you got caught, pay up
You are a cheat and a thief
You stole the dreams of so many people.

Now having said that, Lance is no orphan.
Where there is prize money or glory and betting attached to the physical endeavours of man or man trained beasts, there will be those who will try to gain some underhanded advantage.

You should know by now that I have spent the best part of my life involved in the racing of horses.
I learned very early that a large majority people involved in the racing of horses, were quite willing to take short cuts and use anything they could to try to gain some advantage.

Blood doping is really nothing new. A simplistic form was used as early as there is records. Trainers used to bleed their horses in the belief that the newly produced blood in the system would have some magical power. It did actually, carrying more oxygen the horses appeared to be fresher and rejuvinated.

Over the years more and more substances have been banned by authorities as they have found them being used to enhance the performance of horses.
Unbelievably the early popular performance enhancing drugs were actually poisons. But in small regulated doses, poisons like arsenic and strychnine act as stimulants and were indeed responsible for vastly improved performances. Unfortunately, the system does not purge these poisons and of course a build-up caused multiple problems.
Steriods came and went, eventually being listed as banned substances .

Suddenly swabing proceedures detected traces of an elephant tranquilizer called Etorphine. Once again it was a poison used in small doses proving to be a great stimulant and it was being masked my large doses of glucose.
So it was discovered that the cheats were not only using illegal substances but had found a way to mask their use.
It was not until authorities started to investigate the reason for vastly increased CO2 levels in blood samples that they found the use of baking soda was masking the use of a Methamphetamine called Blue Ice.
A few trainers were banned after Blue Ice was found in their horses blood samples but the real smarties had moved on to an Ecstasy variant called Red Mercedes once again masked by baking soda.
Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) is naturally occuring in the body and assists with the neutralizing of lactic acid in the muscles but now authorities have set an upper limit that can be in the body before being deemed to be a masking agent.

But have no doubts that the cheats have moved on and have found another way to manually or chemically enhance performances. It is like a dog chasing its tail---just as the authorities catch up, the smarties have moved on

I can tell you that my greatest satisfaction in racing has been beating these cheats by hard work, good feed and a knowlege of how to get the best out of natural ability. I can only assist my horses by education and sometimes a little psychology.

A cheat who I know very well thought that he was the smartest man in Australia when he found a supplier in a "neutral" European country. When he went to collect his supplies, he was nearly knocked down at the shop door by one of the most respected trainers ever in this country.
Hmm, I have now lost all respect for him.

So Lance, you are no orphan, but you are to be despised and forever known as a cheat.


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