08/19/2011 4:29PM

New York judge rules against out-of-competition testing


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A New York Supreme Court judge has ruled that laws that allow regulators in New York to conduct out-of-competition drug testing should be thrown out, calling the rules “so lacking in reason as to require nullification in their entirety,” according to the Aug. 15 ruling.

Supreme Court Judge Mark Powers issued the ruling after groups representing Standardbred trainers, owners, and breeders filed challenges to the laws, which were enacted in December 2009, and expected to take effect in January. New York regulators, however, never conducted any tests under the program, because the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order early in 2010 preventing the state from conducting out-of-competition testing while Judge Powers reviewed the challenges.

Under the rules, New York regulators were empowered to test any horse within a 100-mile radius of a licensed racetrack, even if the horse was located out of state. The law also gave regulators the power to test any horse that was believed to be within 180 days of a start.

In his ruling, Judge Powers said that the portion of the law allowing for testing 180 days from a start was capricious and arbitrary. Powers also ruled that the laws gave the racing board “overbroad” authority to enter on to private property.

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Authority did not join with the Standardbred interests in challenging the law, but the group had supported the position of the challengers, said Rick Violette, the president of the group, on Friday.