06/23/2012 3:16PM

Belmont Park: No dermorphin positives in New York despite several months of testing


ELMONT, N.Y. – There have been no reported positive tests for the powerful drug dermorphin in New York, according to a press release issued Saturday by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

Dermorphin, a painkiller believed to be 30 to 40 times more powerful than morphine, has been in the headlines recently with several Quarter Horses and some Thoroughbreds having tested positive for the opioid in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

According to the NYTHA release, New York has had a test for dermorphin for several months.

“Dermorphin has been on our radar screen,” said Dr. George Maylin, director of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board’s drug testing and research program at Morrisville State College. “We’d heard in recent months that the drug was being used in the southwest, and we worked in conjunction with the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania to develop the test.”

Trainer Rick Violette, the president of NYTHA, said his organization believes horsemen caught using illegal medications should be dealt with “harshly and swiftly.” He did, however, reiterate NYTHA’s position that the medication Lasix should not be eliminated from race-day use.

“Thanks to Dr. Maylin and the people who work for him, the testing standards in New York are second to none,” Violette said. “We need to concentrate our efforts, energy and finances on doing away with drugs like dermorphin and ridding our sport of the cheats who use them, rather than wasting valuable resources on the battle over Lasix. Getting rid of Lasix does nothing to address the issues faced by our industry. By focusing on the real problems such as illegal medications, we can have a positive impact on public perception, the integrity of our sport, and most important, the safety of our horses and riders.”

Gerald Sabo More than 1 year ago
It's a nice story but Dutrow still holds a license. How is that possible?
Steffi More than 1 year ago
Ben van den Brink More than 1 year ago
As long as the use from lasix is legal in the USA (as the only jurisdiction in world), there is no problem. But as soon as this stops, more problems will arise.
Susan Kayne More than 1 year ago
so true it just washes everything out, illegal in all other sports due to the strength of its masking capabilities....hmmmmm
Peter Miller More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well said!
Jimee63 More than 1 year ago
I am not questioning the NY test for dermorphin. However, I am pointing out that some States' test did not detect dermorphin until they used the "tweaked" procedure developed by the Industrial Laboratories in Denver,CO.