NYTHA donates additional equipment to drug testing lab

Posted: Nov. 29, 2016

Last fall, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association purchased new laboratory equipment for the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Program at Morrisville State College.

The triple quadrupole mass spectrometer screens for new drugs that are alleged to be used in horse racing, including synthetic marijuana; nootropics, which enhance mental function; and modified existing drugs and peptides. NYTHA upped its investment in racing integrity this November, making a second donation of two instruments that will further enhance the lab’s ability to detect illegal substances in blood and urine samples.

The newly acquired state-of-the-art equipment is a Mass Spectrometer, which determines the chemical structure of masses within a sample, and Diode Array Detector, which utilizes UV rays to provide drug identification. The equipment is 100 times more sensitive that earlier models, according to New York Equine Drug Testing Program Director Dr. George Maylin.

“The use of orthogonal (statistically independent) methods that combine different technologies provide the best means of detecting unknown drugs and metabolites in plasma and urine in horses,” Maylin said.

NYTHA’s contributions to New York’s Equine Drug Testing Program have totaled more than $1.2 million over the last eight years. In addition to the most recent equipment purchases, the organization spent $500,000 to acquire the instruments necessary to test for anabolic steroids, and donated $100,000 toward research into gene- and blood-doping substances, as well as snake toxins and protein-based drugs.

“New York”s horsemen have never shied away from doing our part, and more, in the battle against those who try to cheat,” NYTHA President Rick Violette Jr. said. “Protecting the integrity of our sport is vital, and we have demonstrated time and again that we are dedicated to fulfilling that commitment.”

(Photo courtesy of Morrisville State College)