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Out-of-Competition Testing

The State Horse Racing Commission is dedicated to upholding the integrity of the horse racing industry and the welfare of Pennsylvania’s race horses. In February 2017, the State Horse Racing Commission approved the out-of-competition testing program and it was successfully launched on May 8, 2017. Out-of-competition testing is an instrument the Commission will use to improve Pennsylvania horse racing’s integrity.

The new testing program is designed to ensure the integrity of the sport and protect the welfare of the horse. The program is virtually identical to those in surrounding jurisdictions. The State Commission has received full support for the testing program from Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Associations and Pennsylvania’s six race tracks.

Out-of-competition testing allows for the collection of biological samples from horses in training for gene and blood-doping agents and other substances that compromise the integrity of racing and the welfare of the horse. All of Pennsylvania’s out-of-competition testing samples are analyzed by the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology Research Laboratory (PETRL) under the direction of Dr. Mary Robinson. PETRL is accredited by the Racing Medication Testing Consortium and the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation.

The State Horse Racing Commission is strictly enforcing penalties for individuals who violate out-of-competition testing regulations. A few of the penalties out-of-competition testing follow:

  1. Penalty for trainer with a positive test for anabolic steroids shall be $5,000 plus a suspension of 180 days. This is in addition to any purse money earned that will be forfeited.
  2. Penalty for trainer with a positive test for blood doping agents shall be $10,000 plus a suspension of two years. This is in addition to any purse money earned that will be forfeited.
  3. Horses that test positive for anabolic steroids or blood doping agents shall be placed on the Steward’s or Judge’s List for a minimum of 90 days. To be released from the Steward’s or Judge’s list, the horse must provide a negative sample.

Out of Competition Testing Program.pdf