The FEI has warned its member National Federations against the use of Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) and Hydroxy-gamma butyric acid (Hydroxy-GABA), following advice from the FEI List Group. The warning has been issued outside the List Group’s usual annual review process.
National Federations were advised in an email alert from FEI Veterinary Director Graeme Cooke via the FEI’s NF Liaison Office that any request to an FEI Official/ Veterinary Delegate to administer a substance containing GABA or Hydroxy-GABA at an FEI Event will not be permitted from 27 April 2012.
GABA and Hydroxy-GABA will now be added to the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List as a Banned Substance and, following the 90-day implementation period as provided for in the Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication (EADCMR) rules, will be subject to sanctions.
The two substances were brought to the attention of the FEI List Group, the expert group tasked with determining which substances should be included on the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List and in which category (Banned or Controlled Medication), primarily by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and the USEF has banned its use following documented adverse reactions in horses.
GABA and Hydroxy-GABA are ingredients in a commercial product sold in the USA under the trade name ‘Carolina Gold’.