Maxime Livio finally speaks: Claims sabotage and no performance impact from drug detected

At the 2014 World Equestrian Games, Maxim Livio’s horse Qalao des Mers returned positive for the controlled Medication substance Acepromazine from a sample taken on 29 August. Maxime Livio and Qalao des Mers finished fifth individually and were members of the fourth-placed French team.

Acepromazine is a sedative. Controlled Medications are substances that are regularly used to treat horses but which are not allowed in competition in order to maintain a level playing field.

There has been no word from the FEI on this case since the announcement of the postiive sample on September 5, 2014. There is a lot on the line here for Livio, France and Canada. If fourth place France is eliminated, Canada will move from 7th to 6th and get an Olympic qualification. For Livio it could mean a ban from competition and fines.

In an article published on France Complet today and posted on Maxime Livio’s Facebook page,  Maxime Livio is claiming sabotage and that the Acepromazine detected in the Qalao Des Mers system would not have impacted the dressage performance as it would have worn off by the day of the dressage test.

Sabotage?
As to how the drug was administered to his horse he says, “I do not know how the person who administered the product Qalao did. There are only three ways to do : someone who returned to signing the register and deceiving the vigilance of the night steward , bribing a guard , entering breaking of the stable grids.” (Quote from article below)

Livio suggests that the drugging of his horse may may have been linked to anonymous letters that implied intent to harm Livio and his father, he says, “It’s true . Which is totally new in this kind of business, which demonstrates a malicious act or at least a curious climate. We received three anonymous letters , two of which indicate quite clearly a direction to imagine who did that. Contrary to what was said at the beginning of the case, I am convinced that this was not meant maliciously Thierry ( Touzaint ) and it was well intended to harm me and my father. Anonymous letters are attached to our file to the FEI.” (Quote from article below)

The effect of the drug would not have impacted the dressage test?
Apparently, expert witness Dr. De Iuliis, claims the dosage in the blood tests indicate that the drug was administered to the horse between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am between the night of Wednesday Aug. 27 and the morning Thursday Aug.28. He further suggests, that based on the concentration of Acepromazine present in the urine sample B of the horse, and official detection time of Acepromazine for a dose of 0.15 mg / kg (the usual dosage of this drug in horses) that the drug would have no longer been present in the horse’s system by the dressage test.

It will be interesting to see the final ruling of the FEI in this case. After Jock Paget was able to exonerate himself by blaming the chemist in the kitchen with a wooden spoon for the presence of reserpine in his horse Clifton’s Promise…can we expect the FEI tribunal to believe this cloak and dagger story?

Judge for yourself, here is the English translation from Google Translate of the article:

 

A great interview with Maxime Livio

Q / What mood are you, here, now that the season just ended?

“Relieved, because we had good news there is a month in which we have not yet reported , and clarifies the essence to me , that my integrity and my horse.
Also relieved that the season ends ; we go on holiday at the end of the week with Cedric ( Lyard ) , Rodolphe ( Scherer ) , Veronica ( Real ) , Aude ( Scherrer ) , and other friends Aurélie , Hugo … a few days in Morocco, then a week in family with my parents, my sisters and friends, then will come the winter period the Ecurie during which we’ll change of pace, especially work hard to make the best season in 2015.

So a mindset naturally shared because one hand always concerned of this case, and worried about the final decision of the FEI Tribunal and the date it will be notified and secondly , relieved by recent news , the good times and happy holidays to come, and happy unconditional support I got from my friends, my owners, my students , sponsors, French equestrian institutions, the public, etc.

Finally, what makes me very happy at the end of the season is that my horses are great!”

Q / Can we take stock of where you stand with the problem of the positive control Qalao?

“Yes, the most important aspect . Dr. De Iuliis , an Italian veterinarian who is one of the leading specialists of the doping control and was present at the opening of the B sample , submitted an expert report based on the concentration of acepromazine present in the urine sample B Qalao , and official detection time acepromazine for a dose of 0.15 mg / kg ( the usual dosage of this drug in horses , ed), and its conclusions are very interesting and very important.

It demonstrates that the product was administered at 11 p.m. ET Qalao between 5:00 am on the night of Wednesday, 27/08 at Thursday, 08/28 before the first day of the Eventing World Championship.

It also demonstrates very clearly that Qalao was completely integrates with all his physical and mental capacity at the time he returned to the dressage arena Friday, August 29 at 10 am 45.

It is obviously essential for me because it exonerates me totally sporting and morally.”

Q / How can we prove this?

“It’s pretty simple to understand, based on objective and scientific data. The dose of Acepromazine in urine collected around 12:00 Friday, August 29 after my dressage is objectified data calculated from data from LCP doping control laboratory who spoke on behalf of the FEI on urine and blood Qalao.

Then the doping control experts have the tables of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities ( IFHA website and EHSLC ) , which give the pharmacokinetics of each dopant molecule or subject to authorization (This is the case of acepromazine which does is not considered doping , nldr ) with possible variations depending on different metabolisms horses.

It is easy to estimate from the product concentration in urine and / or blood , and pharmacokinetics of the molecules, the administration schedule of the product range.

The last important point to consider is that the product has a service life of 4 to 6 hours maximum Qalao gold entered the dressage arena 30 hours after the end of activity of the product. It was therefore fully integrates physically and mentally … So the results to JEM on the 3 trials, are representative indisputable performance!”

Q / Why is sampling Sunday while negative?

“Again, it is very simple to understand. This is a product which is detectable in the blood 48 hours and in urine 72 hours. The negative debit Sunday confirms the report of Dr. De Iuliis including the time of administration of the product.”

Q / As I understand it, the only arbitrary element of the report of Dr. De Iuliis is a dose of 0.15 mg / kg (the usual dosage of this drug in horses, ed) because a much higher dose, or much less could it be administered?

“Yes , but again the reasoning is quite simple. What is certain because it is based on the monitoring data , the level of concentration on Friday at noon. So if you increase the dose step back even more product administration date and it further away from the time of dressage Qalao , and if you reduce the dose to bring you closer as possible to the time of dressage the dose is infinitesimal and ineffective compared to a possible research to calm the horse. So, none of these arguments does not invalidate the report of Dr. De Iuliis . Even if you make other assumptions about the dose you will come to the conclusion that the dressage test of Qalao was totally honest.”

Q / But who could do this?

“That’s a question for which I give a lot to get the answer!

However, we can say something important with respect to this question.

Dr. De Iuliis demonstrates that the product was administered at 11 p.m. ET Qalao between 5:00 am on the night of Wednesday, 08/27 at Thursday, 8/28 . This is a very important variable because the teams were forbidden to anyone , including riders and grooms between 11 p.m. ET 6:00 AM.

The procedure was so made that we could possibly ask to enter it in an emergency by calling the night steward , signing a record night at the entrance to the stables , and being accompanied by the night steward up the box and signing the register night out stables . And of course, neither Matilda, neither I nor anyone around me has applied to join the stables that night or any other night for that matter. Night records attest. I do not know how the person who administered the product Qalao did. There are only three ways to do : someone who returned to signing the register and deceiving the vigilance of the night steward , bribing a guard , entering breaking of the stable grids. ”

Q / is said that you would have received numerous anonymous letters?

“It’s true . Which is totally new in this kind of business , which demonstrates a malicious act or at least a curious climate. We received three anonymous letters , two of which indicate quite clearly a direction to imagine who did that. Contrary to what was said at the beginning of the case, I am convinced that this was not meant maliciously Thierry ( Touzaint ) and it was well intended to harm me and my father. Anonymous letters are attached to our file to the FEI.”

Q / Your file submitted to the FEI it contains other things?

“Yes , but I do not want to talk because I want to respect the rhythm and the confidentiality of relations with the court of the FEI.”

Q / You probably know that many rumors or comments roam the paddocks.To talk about one of them, some are surprised tremendous way you did make dressage Qalao in eighteen months?

“Yes, of course that these rumors come back to me . They hurt me.

Qalao is a great horse, he has shown all year , winning the Saumur CCI *** , being seventh in CICO *** of Aachen , etc … Or, in parentheses , it was tested negative every time! And with excellent grades in dressage!

I knew Qalao because I bought a Friend Paul Gatien who came to work at home with Tristan ( Chambery ) . A lot of work had already been done by Paul , and he needed to be done , especially we had to manage to find competitions that we had at home. To achieve this in 18 months we have been working a lot , trying to understand it, and the result is the fruit of a three Tristan and Mathilde . And during the 10 months preceding the JEM , we did something that is very well known in the world of British racing, Xavier ( Goupil, team veterinarian in France) called ” Scooling ” (the school cool) . Every weekend for 10 months Qalao took the truck to go to competition from small Jumping off the house until the International Complete, and it WITHOUT RUNNING , just to walk for a good time competitions , to erase the past difficulties in his youth, to graze , to hear the atmosphere without any stress , to walk long reins , … etc. And , slowly bringing him much kindness, and Mathilde has much he trusted us.

Thierry ( Touzaint ) wanted to test this in the atmosphere of Aix la Chapelle. It was very quiet and there was a nice recovery. This work will certainly begin each season , it is not yet Jaipur , which in another life had to be Zen monk , but since this method is not the same horse. We are beginning to get competition we get home. I think this is a horse that still has room for improvement.”

Q / You’ve talked earlier maintenance, you have enjoyed a very strong solidarity is not fading, although some riders were saying “less solidarity” in recent weeks?

“Yes I know, I can not help some people to think so , even if it affects me . What I remember is the tremendous support I received , and I always get here and from the 1st day , my students , their families, my sponsors , my owners , equestrian institutions , my family, my friends the course federation, but also ENE breed associations , thousands of people on social networks , all were positively present my side of course with messages of support , but also important public statements since those who know me know that it’s impossible that I could do this with a view to changing the course performance, but also because it is a drug product subject to authorization and that if I had needed the Wednesday night on business as I am, I would have asked permission Xavier ( Goupil ) veterinary FEI competition.”

Q / FFE has been present at your side?

“Yes, Thierry first weekend from 1 to Corné he came to express to me their support, and the Federation institutionally unequivocally . Serge Lecomte was very clear from the first days , and today is in full cooperation and full confidence with the Federation that we act. Emmanuel Feltesse had an outstanding attitude with me from the beginning and I thank him very much , and Sophie ( Dubourg, DTN ) and Michel ( Asseray , assistant DTN ).”

Q / What is the time of the proceedings?

“I do not know, we do not have much information. We submitted our dossier on time, on 3 November. It seems that we can have a first return in January.”

Q / Regardless of problem with Qalao, you made a good season, you win for the second consecutive year with Mathieu, the Grand National, you win the three-star Saumur, many victories and podiums in one, two and three stars a fifth place at the WEG, and you finish the season number one French, you get to enjoy it enough?

“I confess that I can not take full advantage of these results, but I am conscious of having a great season.”

Q / You come from Thailand today with some of your students at the invitation of the Thai federation, it went well?

“Yes, we spent a wonderful week. We did the CCI * with horses that were at the house and ran the Asian Games, the World Cup CSI Matilda won! And we played polo!

The relationship with the Thais are wonderful, they are professional and serious people who have a real medium-term project and with whom we are in a great mutual trust. We will continue for next two years our collaboration. The horses come back early in the year and two riders in the spring.”

Q / How are you approaching next season? What is your program?

“Very determined and very motivated.

For the program, it is difficult to establish early in the season because I do not know what the decision of the Tribunal. I have four horses and high-performance addition to the Grand National, I want to focus on the 3 and 4 star with these horses, and I think obviously for participation in the European Championships, where Thierry decides. ”

Q / What are your plans for the coming weeks, holidays then?

“Yes! Then prepare the season, take good care of students, although we take internships that are programmed Ecurie, and I also see a lot of young horses.
Continue therefore, more determined than ever to do good work, as seriously as possible as I have always done!”

Interview by Hedwig Favre

[Original article in french] [FEI Press Release from Sept. 5, 2014] [Maxime Livio Facebook]

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