The Daily Racing Form is reporting that a testing lab at LSU has begun testing blood samples from race horses for the presence of synthetic opiates.
Link to the story at DRF.com -
Ten horses test positive for powerful painkiller in Louisiana:
Perhaps the most telling line from the story is the very last sentence:
"Because the LSU lab immediately began finding positives after putting the test in place, it’s likely that trainers have been abusing the drug for some time."
1. How widespread is usage of this stuff?
2. How many other racing jurisdictions will begin testing for it?
3. How soon?
4. Will testing in other racing jurisdictions begin with samples that have already been collected?
5. Or will it be swept under the rug? (Easy to do: Just make it known that testing for synthetic opiates will commence beginning with samples collected on or about July 15, 2012.)
6. What will the penalties be for those caught red handed?
In our opinion, those caught cheating through the use of synthetic (and other) pain killers on race day deserve the harshest treatment possible under the law.
In survey after survey, horseplayers have made it abundantly clear that they want racing commissions to treat cheating through the use of drugs as the serious offense that it is.
Horse racing is a wonderful grandiose game. However, horse racing is not entertainment. Horse racing is, first and foremost, a gambling game. The first order of business for running a successful gambling game is integrity.
Racing is now at a crossroads. The time has come for Racing to take integrity seriously.
If you think public support for Racing can't possibly get any lower than it is - think again.
As always, we at HANA welcome commentary from players, track management, horsemen, and in this case Racing Commissioners. Feel free to drop us a line and let us know what you think.
jeff @ hanaweb . org
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