Florida gambling regulators issue emergency rule for greyhound drug testing

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PHOTO BY JEREMY REPER
  • Photo by Jeremy Reper
State gambling regulators Friday published an emergency rule for drug testing of racing greyhounds, a week after an administrative law judge rejected procedures that have been used to collect and process urine samples.

The state Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, in a notice published in the Florida Administrative Register, said it disagrees with the decision by Administrative Law Judge Lawrence P. Stevenson but that it needs to move forward with the emergency rule “so that the Division (of Pari-Mutuel Wagering) can ensure the greyhound races that occur during the pendency of any legal challenges occur under safe conditions.”



It also said an emergency rule is “necessary because the division would be unable to test for many prohibited substances in greyhounds and be unable to take subsequent administrative action in cases where a prohibited substance is found in such an animal.

Such substances would include performance enhancing substances, pain numbing substances, and others that could lead to potential injuries or death to the racing animals. Further, the division must be able to test for such substances in order to ensure legitimate and fair races and to protect the betting public.”



Stevenson on Dec. 22 sided with two greyhound trainers who argued that procedures used by the state to test racing dogs had been struck down in an earlier case and had not been replaced. The trainers had been suspended after their dogs tested positive for cocaine.

The emergency rule, which is a temporary measure, includes steps detailing how specimens should be collected, sealed, stored and shipped.

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