Glaucine Positives Overturned

Published: June 29, 2016 04:23 pm EDT

The Maryland Racing Commission and the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission have each taken the position that some recent positive tests for glaucine have most likely been produced due to environmental contamination.

As an article by The Racing Biz explains, each of the commissions utilizes Truesdail Laboratories for their glaucine testing. A joint investigation between Truesdail and the Maryland commission was then conducted to further delve into the positives.

According to the article, the findings from the Truesdail/Maryland investigation came to the conclusion that the positives were more than likely produced due to environmental contamination.

The joint investigation found that when glaucine (which is a naturally-occurring alkaloid in the tulip poplar tree) is found along with one of three other alkaloids (protopine, asimilobine or liriodenine) the positive is more than likely due to environmental contamination. The article states that all of the positives in Maryland and Delaware contained glaucine and at least one of the aforementioned alkaloids.

The Delaware commission then used those findings to take the same position as Maryland in regard to the matter.

The article states that the source of the glaucine was the sawdust that several trainers had been using.

Tom Weinbrener of the Maryland Racing Commission said via conference call that “a lot of people were caught unaware through no fault of their own” and that “the bottom line is we want to do this the right way.”

It was announced earlier this month that a task force had been formed to review information on glaucine, and that Dr. Carolyn Cooper of the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency had recently joined.

(With files from The Racing Biz)



It's really quite simple to establish if this is environmental. Get a group of horses, put half on the shavings that caused the contamination. At the same time have a group of horses at the same location on straw. The horses on the shavings should then test positive with similar levels of Glaucine as those who tested positive in post-race testing. What would help the public confidence would be a detailed explanation as to how the environmental contamination was investigated.

It's called environmental contamination for a reason. This group wasn't intentionally defrauding anyone. It was next to impossible for anyone to know that certain wood shavings, when ingested, resulted in a positive test on glaucine. It's like years ago when sheep wormer metabolized to aminorex-nobody knew. The commission realized there was no attempt to defraud the public(bettor) by deliberately administering a banned substance and it was rightfully set aside. They did what any reasonable person would do. The world isn't always black and white. Our resources need to focus on the trainers that intend to cheat.

Just because you can detect a foreign substance doesn't necessarily mean it had an effect on performance. Clearly contamination is a real problem. For the innocent, it now becomes a petrifying experience getting tested. Who has complete confidence in our testing procedures now?

In reply to by chris bush

The performance has nothing to do with anything. It's the fact the horse had illegal drugs in its system. Trainer responsibility period. Nothing wrong with the testing. The test found it. The cheating trainer is always the victim on this site. What about the bettors?

Contaminated shavings. My god what is wrong with these commissions that they choose to not hold these violators accountable. Have yet to see a horse eat enough shavings that they would test positive for a banned substance.

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