Report: N.Y. adjusts testing rules after Pletcher case

Report: N.Y. adjusts testing rules after Pletcher case
Photo: NYRA

The New York State Gaming Commission changed its timeline for testing split samples of positive drug findings in horses.

BloodHorse reported that the action was announced in a Tuesday meeting and affects samples taken before Sunday. On Monday, new anti-doping and medication control rules went into effect overseen by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.

Trainers now will have two weeks to arrange for an independent review of a positive sample, according to the report. When that test is returned, state stewards must hold a hearing within three weeks.

"If a trainer cannot appear within three weeks' time, they will be deemed as to have constructively waived their appearance before the stewards and the matter will proceed,'' commission executive director Robert Williams said at the meeting.

The meeting follows criticism for the delay between a positive finding in Forte after the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes in September and the suspension of trainer Todd Pletcher on May 10. Pletcher appealed, and the suspension has been stayed.

Commission officials defended the delay, saying much of it was attributable to Pletcher’s legal team. Williams said it took nearly two months for Pletcher's team to select an outside lab to perform the split-sample tests, according to the report. Read more here.

Williams said the commission’s new procedures "have been instituted to reduce the ability of an affected party to game the system," according to the BloodHorse report.


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