The National Horseracing Authority has reaffirmed its stated commitment to drug-free horseracing in South Africa.
NHA CEO Rob De Kock announced today that the sport’s policing body was aware that the drug ITTP, which is not registered for use in this country and is a prohibited substance, is available within South Africa.
According to a statement by the NHA, ITTP is a drug that allows the haemoglobin in the blood to release significantly more oxygen than normal into the body, thereby enhancing physical performance.
The NHA’s laboratory has been in contact with and exchanged information with international racing laboratories over the past month. It has developed a methodology for testing ITTP which will now be introduced into its routine screening.
Our internet research shows that the drug was formulated in France, and is labelled amongst others, as a high-octane milkshake in a syringe. It does suggest that there is currently no test available to regulatory laboratories that will detect the presence of ITTP in horses.
Other sources suggest that Myo-Inositol TrisPyroPhosphate, more commonly known as ITTP, which is thought to be widely abused in horse racing, has a bleak future and its day’s are numbered. The University of Kentucky has been able to synthesize the drug and create a certified reference standard which is needed to proof the presence of the drug in blood samples. With a standard developed, the appropriate testing protocols are being developed.
Editor’s note: There appears to be some confusion over the use of the acronym ITTP, which also appears to substitute as ITPP.