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After Drug Test, Prize Lamb Stripped of Title

Vets found performance-enhancing drug
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2019 3:35 AM CDT
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It's not clear whether the lamb in this stock photo is also on performance-enhancing substances.   (Getty Images/Filip Krstic)

(Newser) – An Ohio farmer had a winning lamb, the best one in the show. But testing found a banned substance so the title had to go. The lamb in question was the grand champion market lamb at the Logan County Junior Fair earlier this month, Fox reports. Like all grand champions in the show, the animal's urine was tested, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture says it notified farmer Franklin Kinney and his family that it tested positive for the diuretic Lasix, reports the Bellefontaine Examiner. The drug can be used to make the animal lose weight, placing it in a different weight class, and can also make it appear more muscular. The lamb has been stripped of its title and officials say no replacement winner will be chosen.

The consequences for using banned performance-enhancing drugs can include suspension from exhibiting animals, though county fair officials say no action will be taken until Kinney and his family have an opportunity to represent themselves at a hearing some time in the next 30 days. "We don’t know how it got in there, and we may never know. But it’s the exhibitor's responsibility to present an animal to the fair for competition that’s free of all of those," veterinarian Tony Forshey tells NBC Columbus, adding that diuretics also contaminate the meat. As for the lamb, the controversy appears to have bought it a few more days of life: Officials say slaughter was delayed until Monday to make sure the drugs were out of its system. (A lamb that survived a deadly highway crash was adopted by a foster family.)

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