03/11/2015 2:09PM

Truesdail Laboratory to perform drug testing for Indiana tracks

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Truesdail Laboratory in California will conduct drug testing for Indiana’s two racetracks under a contract signed by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, ending the commission’s relationship with a Lexington, Ky., laboratory that was troubled by testing delays last year.

The contract was approved Tuesday at a meeting of the commission. Truesdail is one of the largest drug-testing laboratories in the country and was one of the first laboratories to be accredited by the Racing Medication and Testing Program, an industry-funded organization that has developed accrediting criteria for laboratories doing horse-racing work.

Indiana also will use a second lab, Industrial Laboratories in Colorado, to perform “audit testing” in which the lab will receive samples that are also sent to Truesdail. Results of the testing at each lab will be used to assess Truesdail’s work, the IHRC said.

Indiana’s commission announced in the fall of last year that it was seeking a new contract for drug testing after the racing commission became frustrated with testing delays at LGC Sciences in Lexington. The commission reached a short-term contract with Industrial in 2014 to conduct its drug tests after LGC Sciences failed to resolve the delays by the end of the year. 

At the Tuesday meeting, Indiana also approved a permanent rule establishing a threshold level of 25 parts per billion for the naturally occurring mineral cobalt. The rule was passed late last year on an emergency basis after the commission released data showing that a small percentage of horses racing in the state had tested at highly elevated levels of the mineral, implying that some trainers and veterinarians were administering substances containing cobalt under the belief that it could act as a cheap blood-doping agent.