NYSGC Suspends Harness Trainer for Four ‘Kratom’ Positives

Mitragynine, known as Kratom, has performance-enhancing and analgesic effects similar to cocaine and morphine.
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The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) has indefinitely suspended harness owner, trainer, and driver Michael S. Weiner for racing four horses at Monticello Raceway doped with mitragynine, a drug with performance-enhancing and analgesic (pain killing) effects similar to cocaine and morphine.

Commonly known as “Kratom” and derived from the plant Mitragyna speciosa that grows only in Southeast Asia, there is no legitimate reason for mitragynine to be found in any racehorse. Kratom is a controlled substance in many countries and has been declared a “drug of concern” by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency with no known legitimate industrial, agrochemical, chemical, human, or veterinary medical use.

The drug was found in Weiner’s horses through the introduction of an analytical detection methodology by the New York Drug Testing and Research Program (NYDTRP). To date, it has not been identified in any other racing jurisdiction. After the NYDTRP identified the presence of Kratom, the lab conducted a drug administration trial to substantiate that administration had occurred within one week of the horses’ races in clear violation of NYSGC rules.

“This dangerous drug has no business anywhere in horse racing,” said Ronald Ochrym, the NYSGC Director of Horse Racing and Pari-Mutuel Wagering. “Thanks to the innovative work of the New York Drug Testing and Research Program, this individual is no longer participating in the sport and we are on the lookout for additional cheaters

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