5 February 2012

TVG Racing Roundtable On Drugs In Racing

This is a pretty long video, but anyone who has an opinion of drugs in horse racing or has more than a passing concern really should give it a watch:

A lot of talk and disagreement, but the one thing that stands out (and it took a call in at around the one hour mark), and that is the admission that testing for EPO (add DPO and ITPP which were not mentioned) is a rare event, so all the great stats about the minute percentage of positives are meaningless, and yes, there is a problem, and it isn't just perception...it is perception about something that is real.

How to cut down spending on tests?  Simple.  More severe fines and suspensions including criminal charges and the threat of jail time.

Also, I've always had an issue about tainted/contaminated samples. If it is so easy to taint a sample or accidentally give a horse cocaine (contamination from a using groom for example), then why aren't there a lot more overages?

Trainer Ron Ellis came out of this discussion looking like the Court Jester.  Talk of needing Lasix to race horses more often really lands on a deaf ear, especially when considering that in the 60's and early 70's horses were running a more than they are today.

The highlight of the discussion was Ray Paulick quoting a study by HANA.  I have to say that Paulick was dead on with his comments throughout the Roundtable, he may appear out of touch when it comes to the Horseplayer, but after watching the interview, I'm beginning to think that the act is strictly for show.  Or, just maybe, that wasn't Ray Paulick but Kevin Bacon impersonating Paulick.  That would explain a lot.

Horse racing definitely needs more Jack Van Bergs.

No comments: