The California Horse Racing Board voted in closed session Thursday to allow jockey Pat Valenzuela to resume riding in California under the terms of a continual stipulated agreement that among other things will require him to submit to hair follicle testing, which will be conducted under the auspices of the CHRB and the results known before he is licensed.
The stipulated agreement will be in full force for as long as Valenzuela is licensed to ride in California. The agreement is unprecedented due to its continual nature and strict conditions.
“We understand that Valenzuela has been given many chances here in California, and for that reason we have taken great care in reviewing this request for licensure, even to the point of contacting authorities in Louisiana, where he has been riding for the last two years, to learn about his status there,” explained CHRB Chairman Keith Brackpool. “Roy Wood, the former executive director of the California Horse Racing Board and now the State Steward in Louisiana, said Valenzuela has passed all drug and alcohol tests during that time. Wood attested to Valenzuela's good citizenship in Louisiana and said Valenzuela has greatly matured over the last few years. Wood's evaluation was one of our considerations.
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“The Board decided all of this evidence and more before voting to give Valenzuela yet another chance to prove he is capable of good behavior and complying with all laws, rules, and licensing conditions here in California. We believe the conditions of the stipulated agreement will insure the protection of the public, other jockeys, the horses, and Valenzuela himself.”
Among the conditions of the stipulated agreement:
· Valenzuela must completely abstain from the possession, injection or consumption of all psychotropic (mood-altering) drugs, including alcohol, and be subject to random biological fluid and drug screening testing, including hair follicle testing, for the detection of alcohol, narcotics, hypnotics, dangerous drugs, or other controlled substances.
· The Board has the right to charge Valenzuela for the cost of such testing.
· Valenzuela must obey all federal, state, and local laws, and he must provide a full and detailed account of any and all violations of law to the Board in writing within 72 hours of occurrence.
· Before Valenzuela may apply for license, he must enter into a contract with the Winners Foundation, and he must abide by the program offered by the Winners Foundation, which must require his attendance at three meetings a week of a twelve-step recovery program dealing with the treatment of alcoholism.
· If Valenzuela fails to participate in random, biological fluid and/or drug screening testing within the time frame specified by the Board or has any confirmed finding of the presence of alcohol, narcotics, hypnotics, dangerous drugs or other controlled substances in his body, the probationary license issued as a result of the stipulated agreement will be immediately suspended.
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