Frogs Being Used As Performance-Enhancing Drug In Race Horses
Horse racing has been plagued by performance enhancing drugs for years and now horse racing regulators have discovered a powerful new drug that can be drawn from the back of the South American critter known as a waxy monkey tree frog.
More powerful than morphine the drug was able to escape traditional testing until a Denver area testing facility changed their procedures recently and discovered more than 30 horses from four states with demorphin in their systems.
According to NOLA.com
“Dermorphin is an opiod peptide – an amino acid found naturally in certain species of frogs but likely is being synthetically produced for improper use in horses, said Steven Barker, a chemist who is head of the state testing laboratory at LSU.”
The drug is suspected of helping horses run faster and while it can be found naturally it is likely be synthesized at this point to ensure proper dosages.
Among some of the horse racing industries most prevalent drugs has been cobra venom which deadens pain in horses so they can continue to run by blocking local nerve pain.
Craig W. Stevens, a professor of pharmacology at Oklahoma State University tells the New York Times that demorphin makes animals “hyper” and
Craig W. Stevens, a professor of pharmacology at Oklahoma State University who has studied dermorphin, said the substance makes animals “hyper.”“For a racehorse, it would be beneficial. The animal wouldn’t feel pain, and it would have feelings of excitation and euphoria.”
Because trainers are ultimately responsible for anything put in their horses bodies it is likely that the racing commission will hand down fines and suspensions to those trainers in the near future.