09/17/2002 11:00PM

Sams to consult for Kentucky

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The Kentucky Racing Commission has hired Dr. Rick Sams, the director of the Ohio State Racing Commission laboratory, as a consultant on medication issues, Kentucky commission officials said Wednesday.

Sams, who did not return a phone call on Wednesday, will "monitor" Kentucky's drug-testing program, according to a Frank Shoop, the chairman of the Kentucky Racing Commission.

Sams has attracted considerable support in the past from several members of the Kentucky commission's Equine Drug Council, a consulting offshoot of the commission that receives state funds. The drug council attempted to hire Sams earlier this year as a consultant.

The council's wishes were blocked, however, by the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, when the KHBPA's general counsel argued that council funds could not be spent out of state. The commission's attorney sided with the KHBPA's attorney.

Shoop said that Sams would be paid by the commission, not the drug council, but act as a consultant for both bodies.