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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mishandling the Glaucine Incident

Upon learning of the NYSGC's rulings regarding the glaucine affair, I initially thought they handled it properly.  They kept track of the positives but did nothing until research was conducted by various groups and the RMTC published standards.  The consortium came up with guidelines of those testing between 100-499 pg/ml having to test below that level before racing again; 500- 999 pg/ml being disqualified; 1 ng/ml or more resulting in a fine and suspension being issued.  Once the standard was published, the commission issued rulings resulting in one trainer being fined and suspended with others being disqualified.

But then, looking back, we see cases in Delaware and Maryland were handled differently.  In those states, the commissions ruled the contamination was environmental, with no penalties to be assessed.  Of course, their ruling came out in June, before the RMTC issued their advisory.

Was New York too harsh on those who came up with the glaucine positives or is it a case of the Delaware and Maryland racing commissions acting too quickly in dropping the positives on those horses which raced in those states?

I would likely side with Delaware and Maryland in this case.  How do you penalize someone whose only crime may have been using the wrong bedding for their horses?  Once it was known that glaucine is produced naturally in shavings from tulip poplar trees, the commission should have voided the positives up to that point and issued an advisory to the racing community advising them not to use those shavings in stalls; indicating penalties will be forthcoming on any future positives.

Regardless of which state you think handled the situation properly or not, it shows the problem of not having a nationalized medication policy.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nonsense - even with the POSSIBILITY of "environmental contamination" (which has been pretty much dismissed as ridiculous thanks to the SAME bedding only producing "positives" for certain trainers), the levels that some of these horses tested at would be IMPOSSIBLE without actually being treated with glaucine sometime before the race. Just to satisfy the "contamination crowd", NY was kind enough to give the benefit of the doubt to horses testing low enough to at least create the POSSIBILTY of contamination; but those higher levels just couldn't possibly have happened by anything other than the drug being directly administered to the horse. New York's research was FAR more sophisticated than in those other states, and that's why they weren't buying the "contamination" B.S.

Anonymous said...

No problem here with NY's penalties. The conclusion is that anything over a certain level indicates an action intended to produce a desired result. Translation: Cheat.

Pacingguy said...

I suspect the two of you may be correct in your suspicions, hence the RMTC guidelines. But it is problematic in that it can be naturally occurring.

I suspect Maryland and Delaware will be treating new positives according to RMTC guidelines. While it may allow those who deliberately cheated to get a freebie, being a positive can be naturally occurring, it may have been better to let those who got a positive before off rather than dealing with possible court cases and throw the books at those who cheat hence forth.

Anonymous said...

Pacingguy:
I believe most racing states follow the same rules on what can be in a horse. If something is on an approved list, it's legal. There may be dosage limitations and withdrawal windows, but a trainer can use what's on the list. Glaucine wasn't on the list when the positives showed up, so regardless of how it got into horses, it wasn't legal.
NY took the newly established guidelines and decided Glaucine above a certain level would draw a penalty. NY went further to explain its position that the higher readings indicate Glaucine was introduced to some horses to get an intended result. "...the horse was introduced to a potentially efficacious dose of the substance on race day."
I'm neither a scientist nor an attorney. For now, I'm accepting Glaucine can come from a natural source (stall shavings), but when levels are at a certain reading, it's not natural.