12/31/2003 12:00AM

Texas drug testing changes

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Changes will be instituted to the post-race drug testing program in Texas this week, with the new program designed to provide increased testing for performance-enhancing drugs. The adjusted program will increase the number of ELISA, or immunoassay screening tests, run on each urine sample.

ELISA-type testing detects most major medication violations in horses. In addition to increasing the number of those tests, the adjusted program calls for less general screening of urine samples, which tends to detect lower-grade, therapeutic medications. The changes will be in place through Aug. 31, with the program coming up for renewal in July.

The changes were spurred in part by budget concerns at the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory System, which is the mandated testing firm for the Texas Racing Commission.