02/07/2014 11:16AM

Truesdail to take over Maryland drug testing

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Blood and urine samples from horses running in races at Maryland tracks will be tested by Truesdail Laboratories in Tustin, Calif, under a new 5-year deal that ended the state racing commission’s longtime relationship with a state testing lab.

J. Michael Hopkins, the executive director of the Maryland Racing Commission, said that the decision to contract with the California laboratory will allow the commission to comply with requirements that drug testing be done by an accredited laboratory. Truesdail was one of the first laboratories in the U.S. to be accredited under an industry-monitored program launched last year.

Hopkins also said that the contract will result in some cost savings to the state’s racetracks, which foot the bill for drug testing. He said the Maryland state laboratory would need new equipment and personnel in order to qualify for accreditation, requiring a large outlay of funds.

“This is the most efficient way to take advantage of all the top-of-the-line equipment and personnel at the Truesdail lab,” Hopkins said.

The new contract was scheduled to take effect on Saturday, Feb. 8.