State appeals greyhound drug testing decision

Greyhound Racing

For the second time in less than three months, state regulators are appealing a judge’s decision in a battle about drug-testing procedures for racing greyhounds.

The state Department of Business and Professional Regulation last week filed a notice of appeal at the 1st District Court of Appeal after Administrative Law Judge Lawrence Stevenson on March 7 found that two drug-testing rules were invalid. Stevenson sided with greyhound trainers Charles McClellan and Natasha Nemeth, who face the possibility of license revocation after urine tests showed metabolites of cocaine in racing dogs.

Stevenson agreed with the trainers that drug-testing rules did not adequately carry out state law.

“Because the … rules regarding allowable medications for greyhounds and penalties for drug violations in greyhounds do not provide the standards demanded by the statute, they are vague, they fail to establish adequate standards for agency decisions, and they vest in the agency unbridled discretion to bring actions against licensees,” Stevenson wrote in a 53-page order.

As is common, the notice of appeal filed last week did not detail the arguments that the department will make.

The department also filed an appeal in January after Stevenson ruled against it on another issue in the case. That ruling dealt with the state’s use of drug-testing protocols that had been earlier struck down. That appeal remains pending, an online docket shows.

News Service Of Florida

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.


  • steven grabarczyk

    March 27, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Why can’t the DBPR just do it’s job that it is mandated by Statute and come up with a level that will filter out environmental contamination, like they do with the Horses. NO EXCUSE, seems like they want the industry to go away. 40-50 NG/ML should be sufficient, but no more than 50Ng

  • Adriane

    March 28, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Then fix the language and close the loopholes….. and then go after the individuals that are doping the dogs.

  • Michael

    March 28, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Cocaine is allowed in the dogs system?? At any level it means the dog was given cocaine which is an illegal substance. If a human had any traces of cocaine at even a minute level they would be found guilty of using the drug. If the argument is cocaine is just a substance that floats around, is in dog treats, dog food or the water naturally then we would all fail a drug test.. The drug has to be given manually to the dogs by who you say?? The HUMAN.. who is guilty of buying and distributing illegal substances. In this case it’s for illegal purposes and thats for financial enrichment..

    • Crystal

      March 28, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      No sir. There are established thresholds for humans, and racehorses. The levels that these dogs tested were minute in comparison to human or horse acceptable levels. That is the problem. If these greyhounds were human and taking a drug test- they would have PASSED

    • steven Grabarczyk

      April 4, 2018 at 10:19 am

      Sorry Michael, not true. Humans do not test positive unless over 300 Nanograms per milliliter, horses 150ng/ml in some state 75/ng in another. All drug tests EXCEPT the cocaine ones in FL account for environmental contamination. Maybe do your homework before talking.

      Thats why there are thresholds, except the DPBR has failed to do their job when it comes to establishing those thresholds for dogs. Your statement above is what is wrong, which proves the general public is misinformed. And they want these people to vote on a constitutional issue?

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

This is default text for notification bar