NYRA, NYTHA to Fund R&D for Improved Testing

(from NYRA report)
The New York Racing Association, in conjunction with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, will fund additional research and development into improved equine testing for performance enhancing substances.

The contribution will provide funds to Cornell University's lab, which conducts testing on all post race samples for Thoroughbred races conducted in the state of New York.

"This is part of our commitment to get aggressive in testing," said NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward in a released statement. "We want to let everyone know that we have zero tolerance for any attempt to alter a horse's performance."

"Research is required to develop testing methods for drugs that are alleged to be used in racing," said Dr. George Maylin of Cornell University. "Money earmarked for needed research and development is a great asset for New York racing. I applaud NYRA and NYTHA for playing a leadership role in taking a giant step toward building a concerted long-term research effort."

Today's action follows on the heels of Tuesday's announcement that NYRA is developing post-race testing for milkshaking in conjunction with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and Cornell University.

Milkshaking is the administration of sodium bicarbonate, typically through a tube, directly into the horse's stomach. The milkshaking tests will be run under NYRA rules developed by NYRA veterinarians in consultation with the Racing and Wagering Board and Dr. Maylin, one of the world's leading experts in equine drug testing and pharmacology.

The testing program is scheduled to go into effect in early February.

NYRA initiated discussions with other racing associations to research and implemented the new testing procedure for milkshaking last month.

"Drug testing in New York State is the best in the country," said Robert Flynn, executive director of NYTHA. "This cooperative effort is not something new, but its focus on research and development is a widening of our effort. This is a continuing program to move forward in New York. The horsemen have been working at this with NYRA, the Racing and Wagering Board, and Cornell for a long time. It is part of NYTHA's goal to keep New York in the forefront of progress."

"Today's action along with the announcement earlier in the week is part of the continuing development of an overall program in conjunction with our regulators, the Cornell testing lab, and horsemen to eradicate the administration of performance enhancing substances to horses competing at NYRA tracks," Hayward said.