As we reported here and here, there is a cloud around Hollis Thomas's suspension in the NFL. Clouds surround his physician, his team (the Saints), and Thomas himself. However, it appears Thomas tested for clenbuterol, which was developed for asthma and is in 2 veterinarian preparations. Clen is blatantly illegal for humans in the US.
With a bit of research Steroid Nation finds that there is a rash of Clen 'poisoning' in horses down Louisiana way. Not only is Clen used in equines, but a concentrated solution used. Enough to kill a horse. Clen is illegal, so who knows the source(or Thomas's source). Word to the wise: don't use this stuff.
The FDA has warned horse owners against using this drug:
FDA Warns Horse Owners and Veterinarians About Deaths Due to Unapproved Clenbuterol
FDA has become aware of the deaths of several horses in the State of Louisiana associated with the use of a product labeled as “Clenbuterol HCL.” Horse owners and veterinarians should be aware that there are no generic clenbuterol-containing products approved for animals. There is one clenbuterol containing product approved as safe and effective for use in horses, trade name Ventipulmin®. This is a link to information about Ventipulmin on the FDA/Center for Veterinary Medicine website -- http://dil.vetmed.vt.edu/Display/NadaPrint.cfm?NadaString=140-973
If Thomas did have Clen in his urine, he apparently didn't read that memo. That oversight could have had fatal consequences. Even if he wasn't using the vet prep (and we know athletes use vet preps) Clen is hard on the heart.
Stories here in Bloodhorse.com
By Kimberly S. Brown
Two sources have verified that there have been an undetermined number of deaths in Louisiana since last week from an illegal clenbuterol product. One report was that six horses are known dead, and approximately 10 more have been severely affected by the illegal product. Reportedly deaths have occurred with only one dose.
There have been unsubstantiated reports that the product might have been smuggled in from Belize.
Bob Stenbom, DVM, a field technical veterinarian with Boehringer-Ingelheim, makers of the legal clenbuterol product called Ventipulmin Syrup, stated: "Boehringer-Ingelheim's Ventipulmin is the only licensed clenbuterol product in the United States and world-wide. Anything else is counterfeit."
The deaths reportedly were caused from the illegal product being many times more potent than the licensed, legal product.
The Horse.com reports investigators at LSU have verified that this stuff is bad. Also here:
An unapproved clenbuterol product associated with two horse deaths in Louisiana has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to remind veterinarians and horse owners that no generic versions of the drug are approved for use in animals.
The unapproved product is labeled Clenbuterol HCl, according to a statement issued Nov. 24 by the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine. The agency has confirmed at least two deaths associated with the "super potent" product at Louisiana State University's veterinary hospital, and an investigation is under way, added an FDA spokesperson.
Three ill horses recently treated at the veterinary hospital all tested positive for clenbuterol, but only one had very high levels of the drug in its system, said Dr. Rebecca S. McConnico, an assistant professor of veterinary medicine at the university. Two of the horses were euthanized, and one recovered, said Dr. McConnico, who has heard unconfirmed reports of three additional clenbuterol-related fatalities in Louisiana.