Capsaicin Update

This memo is to update the racing industry regarding the positive tests for capsaicin.


Since June 2020, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) has issued Certificates of Positive Analysis for capsaicin in all Canadian jurisdictions that raced.


When a cluster of positive cases is reported, the CPMA begins an investigation, in collaboration with the provincial regulatory bodies (PRB), to determine the source of the positive cases.


Investigations by PRB have revealed multiple possible sources for the positive tests, including trainers feeding cayenne pepper and capsaicin-contaminated supplements. However, the use of anti-chewing and cribbing products poses a low risk of causing a positive test for capsaicin.


PRB investigations have also revealed the undeclared presence of capsaicin in various regulated and unregulated supplements. Therefore, the CPMA has adjusted its testing criteria for capsaicin to reduce the likelihood that these products will cause a positive test result.


Nevertheless, the administration of oral supplements and/or topical preparations containing capsaicin within 24h of a race may still cause a positive test result. To reduce the risk of a positive test, all oral supplements and topical products should be withdrawn at least 48h before a race.


The CPMA strongly recommends that you consult your veterinarian on any decision to administer supplements or medications to a horse.

If you have any questions, please contact the CPMA at 1-800-268-8835 or


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