Lab: Delays Followed Suspicious Samples Spike

Officials at a Lexington, Kentucky, equine drug-testing laboratory blamed recent long delays in processing samples on a spike of nearly 100 times the number of usual suspicious results this year compared with 2013.
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Officials at a Lexington, Kentucky, equine drug-testing laboratory blamed recent long delays in processing samples on a spike of nearly 100 times the number of usual suspicious results this year compared with 2013.

Regulators in Indiana and Kentucky have said that the Lexington lab, LGC, has not been turning around tests in a timely manner this year. Lab officials said Oct. 23 they fell behind because they were not prepared to handle the significant spike in suspicious tests the lab experienced this year.

In the testing process, there is an initial screening to determine if there are any findings that warrant a closer look, known as a confirmatory process. The confirmatory process is significantly more time-consuming than the initial screening, which indicates a level of therapeutic medication that requires more examination or a foreign substance.

In the confirmatory process, foreign substances need to be identified and therapeutic medication levels have to be determined to see if they are within the bounds of legal thresholds. This is where the Lexington lab, which last year was one of the first two accredited by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, fell behind

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Frank Angst is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine. An American Horse Publications three-time winner in best news story category, Angst has covered horse racing for more than a decade. Angst spent ten years at Thoroughbred Times, where he earned awards as that magazine’s senior writer and helped launch Thoroughbred Times TODAY. Besides covering horse racing, Angst enjoys handicapping. Angst has written about sports for more than 20 years, including several seasons covering a nationally ranked Marshall Thundering Herd football team.

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