Regulators renew emergency rule on race-dog drug testing
Photo: Van Abernethy

Greyhounds racing

Gambling regulators on Tuesday again said they were “renewing” an emergency rule that allows them to continue testing racing greyhounds for drugs, including cocaine.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which regulates gambling through its Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, posted a “notice of renewal” in Tuesday’s Florida Administrative Register.

The emergency rule on “Procedures for Collecting Samples from Racing Greyhounds” was adopted late last December. In Florida, live dog racing is still conducted at 11 tracks.

An administrative law judge struck down the testing program, saying it was invalid. Tuesday’s notice said a rule challenge was still pending in the Division of Administrative Hearings.

The docket shows that case is “awaiting (an) order” from Administrative Law Judge E. Gary Early.

Another judge, Lawrence P. Stevenson, had barred the state from relying on a 2010 testing manual because it wasn’t properly adopted, though as one of the division’s lawyers said, “There aren’t that many ways to do urine collection.”

The emergency rule includes using “evidence tape” to seal samples and storing them in “lockable freezers” until they’re sent off for testing.

A cocaine-in-dogs controversy came to light in Jacksonville in the summer of 2017. That in part spurred a constitutional amendment for the 2018 ballot to ban betting on greyhound racing in the state.

Attorney Jeff Kottkamp, who represents the Florida Greyhound Association, has previously said it has “a zero-tolerance policy for anyone that would give a racing greyhound any illegal substance.” The organization advocates for the state’s race-dog owners and breeders.

The Protect Dogs-Yes on 13, which advocates for passage of Amendment 13, called the renewal “good news” but called out “a continuing problem.”

“Greyhound breeders have thrown the entire regulatory scheme into chaos by repeatedly challenging the state drug testing program in court,” the campaign said in a statement. “This is is an intentional strategy to prevent greyhound trainers from being held responsible for greyhound cocaine positives.

“The regulatory structure is broken, and it’s time for voters to act by voting Yes on 13.”


Senior Editor Jim Rosica contributed to this post. Main photo: Van Abernethy.

Staff Reports


  • Yes on 13- Not Welcome Here

    September 18, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Or perhaps the greyhound owners and trainers are simply demanding a proper and fair testing system that would significantly reduce the possibility of environmental contamination as well tampering. Given the events of the “positive” samples that were sent out for further testing, and came back with the finding that there was NO CANINE DNA in the sample(s), as well as no DNA from any animals classified under the MEAT ID test, it would appear as though this is a case of intentional sabotage. And then adding the fact that Tony Glover, the head of the department of the DBPR which oversees the sampling and chain of custody procedures, resigned from his position upon hearing that the request to have the samples in question had been submitted for further testing, almost immediately seeking employment as a lobbyist for the Yes on 13 proponents, can and should certianly cast doubt on the integrity of Mr Glover himself, as well as his current employer.

    With the Yes on 13 proponents denouncing the attempts to have a fair, lawful and accurate testing system enacted, one must truly question what ot is that Yes on 13 has to hide.

    What I find to be just as ridiculous is that the Yes on 13 proponents sink to levels of bullying and defaming public figures and other entities who do not agree with their crooked politics and their continuous barrage of deliberate deception aimed at the voting public of Florida. Fortunately, the media and the public are beginning to see through the Yes on 13s path of lies and destruction at impressive levels. With that being said, the Yes on 13 should certainly continue on their campaign of lies and deception, as it is helping greatly in the efforts of the Vote No on 13 campaign, who base their information on the whole truth.

  • Steve Grabarczyk

    September 18, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    It is the stubborn FAILURE of the DBPR to do what they have statutory authority to do, set minimum levels just like human testing. No amount of spin or lies from the Yes on 13 people can cover up common sense science. Humans do not test positive until 150 ng/ML , race horses the same. Pilots under FAA 150 ng/ml ( So once again no amount of spin or accusations against the industry for wanting what every other industry has, common sense, will hide the fact THEY are wrong and creating a controvesy for the uninformed public to sympathize with their lies and vote their way.

  • Craig Laginess

    September 19, 2018 at 8:40 am

    And crickets are being heard from Grey2k, HSUS and Yes on 13…

Comments are closed.


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