Will Sore No More Test Positive on a Drug Screening?

While at Poplar Place Farm’s January HT last weekend, I heard a rumor from several concerned competitors about Sore No More liniments.  Competitors had  heard a particular ingredient could reach a horse’s bloodstream and thus test positive on a drug screening.  EN has also received a couple of emails on the topic.  As I and many fellow competitors use Sore No More products regularly, I felt it was important to find out the truth post-haste.  

I spoke with Tracey Freeman of Equilite, the makers of Sore No More and related products.  According to Freeman, Sore No More brand products will NOT test positive on a drug screening if administered topically as it is intended to be.

One ingredient in Sore No More, called lobelia, was questioned by some equine professionals.  Lobelia can be used to treat asthma and other respiratory symptoms in humans.  According to Freeman, less than 1% of lobelia is present in Sore No More, and it cannot reach the bloodstream of a horse unless ingested or otherwise improperly administered. 
Freeman informed me of a company in Moab, Utah also called Sore No More.  This company produces products for human use, and some of these products contain capsaicin, an ingredient used for pain relief.
Capsaicin is present in some equine liniment products, as is its derivative, Capsicum Oleoresin (found in Equi-Block).  According to a USEF document, “there were four drug violations associated with the detection of capsaicin in the blood following topical administration at the 2008 Olympic Games.”  Please be mindful of the ingredients in the products you use on your horses.  It is not recommended to use a topical product containing capsaicin or capsaicin derivatives within seven days before competition.  
Freeman stressed if there is anything else Equilite can do to answer questions about their products, do not hesitate to contact the company.  Equilite is “happy to support the Eventing community,” said Freeman.
Please refer to the important documents linked below for more information regarding topical liniments.

D&M Program Notice Regarding Use of Liniments by Dr. Stephen Schumacher

EDIT: this press release was obtained through the USEF website and was also the point of reference when EN contacted the USEF via telephone for comment on this subject.

EDIT: Equilite discusses the USEF press release and its impact on Equilite products

EDIT: When contacted via telephone, USEF confirmed as long as topical liniments, including Sore No More, are administered appropriately, there is no danger of positive testing.  The exception is any product containing the ingredient capsaicin, which should not be used 7 days prior to competition.

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