Delaware Toughens Penalites for Blood Doping

Edited press release

Anyone caught using blood-doping agents such as erythropoietin will be fined $5,000 and suspended for 10 years under new regulations adopted March 27 by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission.

The rules will take effect April 10 in advance of the live racing season at Delaware Park, which opens April 28.

“For several years, Delaware has been successfully testing for the presence of antibodies to determine culpability in blood doping of horses,” racing commission executive director John Wayne said. “Legal challenges to results have not been uncommon. Now, however, the equine scientific community is able to detect the actual molecules of blood doping agents, not just the presence of antibodies. This new technology gives the commission the ability to withstand legal challenges to penalize offenders.”

The racing commission also reaffirmed its position to prohibit trainers under suspension from transferring horses to assistants or financially connected associates, Wayne said. The commission will require the owner and new trainer to file sworn affidavits ensuring a transfer is legitimate.

“The commission has concerns for the health of the sport which includes the horses, jockey safety, wagering, and the racing product,” racing commission chairman Bernard Daney said. “Our executive director meets with the Mid-Atlantic region of regulatory officials on a frequent basis working toward issue consistency among the jurisdictions, which can only improve the industry and service to the participants.”