The random out-of-competition testing of Breeders’ Cup World Championships participants for Epogen (EPO) and total carbon dioxide (TCO2) have all returned negative, officials announced Oct. 24.
The New Jersey Racing Commission Sept. 17 approved regulations to conduct the tests for the first time on horses racing at any track in the state. The testing was requested by Breeders’ Cup officials.
The release about the negative tests did not state how many horses were tested. However, it did say blood was drawn from horses throughout the country and in Europe. The testing was done by the New Jersey Equine Testing Laboratory.
EPO is a blood doping agent that enhances the red blood cells within racehorses. It has the potential to improve competitive performance.
If a sampled horse were to test positive after the confirmation testing for Epogen, DarbEPO, or other blood doping agents, stewards could authorize a search of the stable's premises. The state veterinarian would then be notified, and the positive horse would be placed on the veterinarian's list pending a hearing by the board of judges (thereby rendering the horse ineligible to compete). The penalty for a first violation is a 10-year license suspension and $50,000 fine for the trainer and other responsible person.