Gaming Commission

About the Equine Drug Testing Program:

New York’s Equine Drug Testing Program (EDTP) is one of the leading equine drug-testing programs in the world. The program for all thoroughbred and harness races is performed by Morrisville State College in Morrisville, New York, under contract with the New York State Gaming Commission.

Equine drug testing is mandated by Chapter 47-A of the Consolidated Laws of the State of New York, The Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law in Section 902.

The process:

  • From the gathering of the original blood and urine samples that are collected in the presence of the owner, trainer or representative, throughout transport and subsequent testing, the chain of custody is strictly maintained by Gaming Commission personnel. This is necessary as blood and urine samples may be evidence in future litigation.

  • All sample containers are identified and sealed against tampering upon collection. All samples are identified with unique numbers and EDTP personnel do not know the identity of the horse involved.

  • Under Commission procedures, when the EDTP detects and confirms the presence of a prohibited substance, the laboratory immediately informs the Commission’s Director of Horse Racing and its Counsel. Immediately thereafter, the Director of Horse Racing informs the steward or presiding judge at the racetrack where the horse's sample originated, along with other appropriate Commission personnel.

  • An investigation into the matter is begun after the horse and its trainer are identified by the steward or presiding judge.

  • The sample identifying numbers are matched by the steward or presiding judge to his/her previously locked documentation of collected samples. After identification, investigation into the circumstances including interviews with all involved parties begins. The trainer is afforded the option of having a "split" sample of the original tested at an approved laboratory of his/her choice at his/her expense. After the investigation is completed and all other information is gathered and studied, the licensee if appropriate, is assessed a penalty from the State steward or presiding judge.

Should the licensee not agree with the penalty given, there is an appeals process that affords the licensee a full hearing before a Commission-appointed hearing officer. Upon receipt of the hearing officer's completed report, the Commission members render a decision.