Columbus, OH --- The Ohio State Racing Commission plans to overhaul its procedures and policies for TCO2, or blood-gas, testing by early next year.
The OSRC Medication Committee on Thursday (Aug. 22) discussed the proposal with veterinarians and horsemen’s group representatives. Ohio currently tests only Standardbreds but plans to add Thoroughbreds.
Proposed changes to the current program include replacement of the radiometer with an “industry standard” testing device, a switch to post-race testing from pre-race testing, and having certified lab technicians at the Ohio Department of Agriculture Toxicology Laboratory perform the testing instead of OSRC investigators.
In addition, the winners of all races as well as horses selected at random would be tested rather than all horses in only two or three races per program. Any tested horse would have to remain in the test barn for about 90 minutes.
Some horsemen have questioned the validity of the current TCO2 test. They cited groupings of high readings -- above the permitted maximum of 37 millimoles per liter in plasma -- at Northfield Park and Raceway Park.
The OSRC also is soliciting feedback on its plan to adopt threshold testing levels for various drugs under Association of Racing Commissioners International model rules.