Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Trainer fined in greyhound doping

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 3:35 PM

click to enlarge Greyhounds: Doped to run faster.
  • Greyhounds: Doped to run faster.

If you like the idea of doping racing animals with painkillers to improve their speed, you'll like this: A greyhound trainer at Southland Park Gaming and Racing, the West Memphis dog track, was discovered to have doctored greyhound XT's Lancelot with lidocaine, a Class 2 drug according to the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Lidocaine is an antiarrhythmic, meant to keep the dog's heart from petering out.

The trainer, Alan Harrell, was fined $500 by the Southland Park Board of Judges. The ruling was made public by the greyhound protection non-profit Grey2K USA. 

Though the international racing association calls for a $500 fine and a minimum 15-day suspension from racing, the Southland judges only imposed the fine for the doping, which occurred Sept. 2. The dog is still being raced at the track. 

According to Grey2K, Lancelot is owned in part by Iowa greyhound breeder Jason Hess, who has also been fined after one of his dogs tested positive for lidocaine. Iowa racing officials are also investigating how ractopamine, a drug that is banned in both horse and dog racing and which can cause heart damage to greyhounds, ended up in dogs Hess trained.

Ractopamine is given to animals to promote leanness. Make a skinny greyhound leaner than is natural? That's not something one does who thinks of his animal as anything but cash on four legs.

The only reason for the dogtrack is so Southland can run a lucrative gaming business. The tie is state law. Only seven states allow greyhound racing. Of course, Arkansas is one. 

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