Report: New York to Begin Cobalt Testing Soon

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The New York State Gaming Commission announced Friday that they would soon begin testing racehorses for excessive amounts of cobalt.

Jerry Bossert of the New York Daily News reported that the Gaming Commission would soon join The Meadowlands in testing for the substance, which has been found to be a performance enhancer. Cobalt also leads to cardiovascular issues and nerve problems in horses.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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  • Hamish

    Cobalt in race horses is not new. The fact that it has taken this long for our state regulatory systems to recognize the problem is both disappointing and a condemnation of our curent racing stewardship missteps. It is indeed time for a new way.

    • pete

      Sad part is even when they (the testing facilities) are told it is being used! Maybe they should read the recent WADA proceedings and take information from informants seriously. Actually, why would anyone want to assist them when they stick their heads in the sand? It seems as though the Mid-Atlantic chooses to ignore for the fear of bad racing publicity.

  • Mimi Hunter

    What does it enhance?

  • Tinky

    This tells you how pathetic testing continues to be in the U.S. As discussed on previous threads, there was plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that it could be a problem over EIGHT YEARS AGO.

    Eight years to develop and/or implement a test?

    Here’s a link to a paper published in 2008 in the British Journal of Pharmacology:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2439521/

    Here’s one line from the study:

    “Cobalt is a potent stimulator of erythropoiesis because of its ability to stimulate production of eEpo through inhibition of HIF-PH”

    Now, it would be useful if Ray could follow up with some questions to NYRA. Here are my suggestions:

    – Why were there no tests developed or implemented prior to the recent Meadowlands revelations?

    – Can Cobalt cheating (overages) be discerned in frozen samples?

    – If so, will NYRA test frozen samples in order to discern who may have been using Cobalt prior to the implementation of tests?

    – If not, WHY NOT?

  • Figless

    Reminds me of Major League Baseball suddenly banning steroids only after the negative publicity outweighed the benefits of the increase in home runs. All racing jurisdictions, not just NYRA, had to be aware of this and looked the other way.

  • fedupinpa

    hope they start testing in pennsylvania soon…

    • Hamish

      Why wouldn’t a state like PA, with a rather state of the art tesing lab, not be testing for excessive Cobalt levels now?

      • Pete

        Yes, and Dr. Soma was told to test for this 2-3 years ago since it was being used by harness trainers……

        …and state chemist for the Meadowlands was convinced EPO was only saline “stupid” trainers paid “$100 a shot” for. They do not care or want to know.

  • Jay Stone

    The fact the thoroughbred industry has to be embarrassed into this is sad. I don’t think this drug on its own is any real difference maker but the fact it is harmful to horses is more distressing. This is probably the beginning of a long list of drugs that might be popping up through their introduction in the harness business. Once again the states and track operators would be very wise and follow the model Mr. Gural has put forth

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