Industrial Labs, a drug-testing company in Denver, Colo., was told by state racing regulators six months ago to be on the lookout for a potent opiate painkiller, dermorphin, according to the lab's director, an alert that has led to a spate of post-race positives for the drug in at least two states.
The warning was passed on as a rumor that the drug was being abused at racetracks, according to Petra Hartmann, the lab director, who would not name the state in which the alert originated.
While there were no positives detected in the first three months of testing, the lab began detecting the drug about 2 1/2 months ago.
“We had about four suspected tests” in the first three months, Hartmann said. “But after we improved the test, and as we kept looking for it, they started popping up.”
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