The Fédération Internationale Equestre added gamma amino butyric acid and hydroxy-gamma butyric acid to the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List as Banned Substances. GABA and hydroxy-GABA are ingredients in the substance known as Carolina Gold.
The USEF brought the substances to the attention of the FEI List Group, the expert group tasked with determining which substances should be included on the prohibited substances list. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter used to calm horses.
Graeme Cooke, the FEI Veterinary Director, advised the national federations via e-mail that requests to an FEI Official or Veterinary Delegate to administer any substance containing GABA or Hydroxy-GABA at an FEI event would be denied as of April 27, 2012.
GABA and hydroxy-GABA are subject to a 90-day implementation period per the Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication rules. Following that period, the use of the drug will be subject to sanctions.