10/12/2007 12:00AM

California alters drug hearings

EmailLegislation meant to speed up the adjudication of cases involving racing medication violations was signed into law by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday, according to a California Horse Racing Board release.

The law, sponsored by Assemblyman Martin Garrick, will allow people charged with medication violations to choose a board of stewards or a hearing officer appointed by the racing board to hear the case. Currently, cases are heard by stewards or an administrative law judge, which because of case backlog can take more than a year to hear the case.

The new law states that in most situations cases must be heard within 90 days of the racing board's complaint.

A pool of hearing officers will be chosen by the racing board, racing associations and horsemen's organizations, and the officers will be selected randomly to hear cases.