Indiana Announces Equine Drug Testing Program for 2015

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) unveiled their 2015 drug testing program at its public meeting on March 10.

A synopsis presented by IHRC executive director Joe Gorajec includes a new primary testing laboratory, a unique-to-the-industry audit laboratory, expanded out-of-competition testing, and cobalt testing. Several new elements in this year’s program are consistent with recommendations made by The Jockey Club in their much publicized 2014 McKinsey Report titled Raising the Standard of Testing and Enforcement.

Primary Laboratory—The Indiana Department of Administration has selected Truesdail Laboratory, in Tustin, California, as the IHRC's primary laboratory. Truesdail is accredited by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and the lab's contract will include performance-based metrics ensuring the quality of its testing and the timeliness of reporting.

Quality Assurance Program—The quality of Indiana’s testing will be further ensured by the addition of an audit laboratory, which will perform periodic testing. A number of samples will be simultaneously sent to this laboratory for quality assurance. The IHRC has committed up to $100,000 towards its audit program. Industrial Laboratory, in Denver, Colorado, will perform this audit function for the commission.

Out-of-Competition Testing—The IHRC will increase its target for out-of-competition testing to 500 horses for 2015. This increase represents a doubling of its historical average of annual out-of-competition tests. The new benchmark will raise Indiana’s out of competition tests to over 10% of the total number of horses tested annually. Indiana was amongst the first states in the nation to initiate an out-of-competition testing program. Since 2007, Indiana has conducted over 2,000 such tests. In Indiana, out-of-competition testing is conducted at race tracks, training centers, and private farms.

Cobalt—The IHRC will continue to test for cobalt in 2015. The threshold will remain at 25 parts per billion. Indiana, the first state in the nation to regulate cobalt, experienced a decrease of 87% in horses racing with elevated levels, once a regulatory threshold was established on Sept. 30, 2014. Additionally, cobalt has been included in the list of substances regulated through out-of-competition testing. The commission has allocated up to $50,000 for cobalt testing in 2015.

The Indiana harness racing season begins March 27 at Hoosier Park, in Anderson. Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing begins April 21 at Indiana Grand, in Shelbyville.

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