Last Friday, Horse Sport Ireland issued a statement on the Olympic banning of rider Denis Lynch and his horse Lantinus after a positive drug test for capsaicin.
The statement includes some strange lines, including the observation that capsaicin can be found ‘in some products in regular use’, including Equi-block … a product used in similar circumstances to Deep Heat used on humans’.
Horse Sport Ireland said Lynch has identified Equi-block as a product he used on his horse.
‘How can a horse test negative all year and then test positive when I’ve changed nothing?’ Lynch asked subsequently in an interview with the Sunday Independent. ‘That’s the question. I didn’t change anything, I did nothing different (for the Games), why change anything when I was doing the same thing all year and winning?’
Meanwhile, Paul Farrington, a vet with the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world equestrian governing body, said capsaicin had always been banned but recently a test has now been developed to detect it.
Indeed, several online advertisements for the product proclaim as much, declaring proudly that ‘Equiblock DT contains capsaicin, will not test positive.’
Apparently, Equi-block will no longer do exactly what it says on the tin.