If these Beijing Olympics have taught us anything, it’s that the human species is weak. While Olympic athletes of the homo erectus persuasion are allowed to pop some Aspirin if they have a little ouchy on their tuchus, horses are forced to suck it up and play through the pain. Like men! Like horse-men!
(Chicks dig studs)
Our Canadian brethren, CBC SPORTS, has a story today detailing just how stringent the drug-testing policy has been during the Olympics. For horses, at least:
“When a horse accidentally bangs his leg with his other leg and gives himself a little bruise, we’ ll give him some of these big Aspirins,” says Canada’s equestrian team leader, Mike Gallagher. “That’s not allowed at the Olympics. Any drugs in a horse means immediate disqualification. Basically any drugs you can think of. It’s so sensitive.”
So sensitive that peppermint candies have triggered positive drug tests. Riders can’t give their horses chocolate bars because caffeine or another banned substance will get picked up, Gallagher says.
“Any foreign substance they pick up pretty much means disqualification. You have to be so, so careful.”
It really doesn’t make much sense why humans aren’t expected to pass testing this intense. It’s not like the great Milo of Croton had the option of taking some pain medication in between bouts of wrestling. And Acanthus of Sparta sure could have used some icy-hot in between his races.