LGC Sport Science will discontinue its animal drug testing program in North America later this year. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which currently contracts with LGC for its equine drug testing, received word of the discontinuation Monday afternoon. LGC representatives told the commission the company will continue to provide testing services through the end of its contract, which expires June 30.
Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director for the KHRC, said the commission had previously put out a public requests for proposals for the next drug testing contract. She anticipated the commission's future testing needs would be greater after regulators voted to expand the state's out-of-competition testing program earlier this year.
“We anticipate a seamless transition to another RMTC [Racing Medication and Testing Consortium]-accredited laboratory,” said Scollay.
Scollay does not anticipate the lab's status will in any way impact testing surrounding the Kentucky Derby, which is less than two weeks away.
LGC is based England and has a laboratory location in Lexington, Ky. which was expanded in late 2016. The company has conducted drug testing in the racing and sport horse worlds, including testing of equine competitors at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Last year, the LGC location in England was approved as a reference laboratory for the international Federation of Horseracing Authorities — one of five worldwide.
At various times, LGC's Kentucky lab has conducted testing for Kentucky, Indiana, Delaware, Maine, Virginia and other jurisdictions. The Kentucky lab is accredited by both the International Standards Organization and the RMTC.
The company has also faced challenges through the years, as a backlog of samples in 2014 prompted the Indiana Horse Racing Commission to switch labs on an emergency basis. Earlier this year, Kentucky officials rescinded penalties against trainers George “Rusty” Arnold and Joe Sharp and their respective owners after new information from LGC cast doubt on the validity of three positive tests for ractopamine.
According to its website, LGC also provides consumer product testing, DNA testing, forensic, genotyping, and other services through its various international locations.
This is a breaking news story and more information will be provided as available.
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