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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 11. Gaming
Agency 10. Virginia Racing Commission
Chapter 180. Medication
2/25/2020

11VAC10-180-110. Laboratory Findings and Reports.

A. Primary testing laboratory. The commission shall designate a primary testing laboratory for the analysis of test samples collected under the supervision of the commission veterinarian. The commission shall designate a chief racing chemist within the primary testing laboratory who shall have the authority to report his findings to the executive secretary of the commission, the stewards, and the commission veterinarian.

B. Reference laboratories. The commission shall designate one or more laboratories, other than the primary testing laboratory, as references laboratories. These laboratories will conduct confirmatory analysis of split samples. Any reference laboratory must be willing to accept split samples for confirmatory testing. Any reference laboratory shall send results to both the person requesting the testing and the commission.

C. Chief racing chemist's responsibilities. The chief racing chemist shall be responsible for safeguarding and analyzing the test samples delivered to the primary testing laboratory. It shall be the chief racing chemist's responsibility to maintain proper equipment, adequate staffing, and acceptable procedures to thoroughly and accurately analyze test samples submitted to the primary testing laboratory.

D. Reporting procedures. The chief racing chemist shall submit to the commission veterinarian a written report as to each test sample analyzed, indicating by identification tag number whether the test sample was negative or there was a chemical identification. All confirmed positive identifications shall be submitted to the executive secretary, the stewards, and the commission veterinarian.

E. Chemical identifications. If the chief racing chemist determines that there is present in the test sample a substance or metabolites of a substance foreign to the natural horse, except those specifically permitted by the regulations of the commission, he shall submit a report of chemical identification to the executive secretary of the commission, the stewards, and the commission veterinarian. In a report of chemical identification, the chief racing chemist shall submit evidence acceptable in the scientific community and admissible in court in support of his determination.

F. Review of chemical identifications. Upon receipt of a report of a chemical identification from the chief racing chemist, the stewards shall conduct a review of the chemical identification, which shall include, but not be limited to, the chief racing chemist and the commission veterinarian. During the review, the following procedures shall apply:

1. All references to the report of a chemical identification shall be only by the identification tag number of the sample collected from the horse;

2. The chief racing chemist shall submit his written report of the chemical identification and the evidence supporting his finding;

3. The commission veterinarian shall submit a written statement to the stewards including, but not limited to, the class of the substance, the concentration level detected in the sample, if determined, and its probable effect on a racehorse;

4. The stewards may ask questions at any time and request further documentation as they deem necessary;

5. After receiving the appropriate information on the identified substance, the stewards shall determine whether the chemical identification constitutes a violation of the regulations of the commission and whether it should be deemed a positive test result. In doing so, the stewards shall consider, among other things, the concentration level reported, its likely effect on the horse, and whether environmental contamination may have contributed to the test result;

6. In the event of a positive test result, the stewards shall notify the trainer and the owner of the horse of the right to send the split sample collected from the horse to one of the reference laboratories, designated by the commission, for confirmatory testing;

7. If the trainer or the owner elects to send the split sample to a reference laboratory, the stewards shall take no disciplinary action against any permit holder until the results from the reference laboratory are received, and the findings shall be a part of the record of any subsequent hearing; and

8. The chief racing chemist's report of a chemical identification, the commission veterinarian's written statement, the results of confirmatory testing and any other documentation submitted to the stewards shall become part of the record of any subsequent proceedings.

G. A horse from which a positive test sample was collected may be placed on the steward's list until the stewards have made a final determination in the matter. The horse shall not be immune from resulting disciplinary action by the stewards or the commission.

H. Frozen samples. Unconsumed portions of all test samples tested by the primary testing laboratory will be maintained in a frozen state until cleared by the chief racing chemist and permission for their disposal is obtained from the Senior Commonwealth Steward, the Equine Medical Director, or the Executive Secretary.

I. Split samples. The commission veterinarian or his designee shall determine a minimum test sample requirement for the primary testing laboratory. If the test sample collected is less than the minimum requirement, then the entire test sample shall be sent to the primary laboratory.

If the sample collected is greater than the minimum sample requirement but less than twice that amount, the portion of the test sample that is greater than the minimum test sample requirement shall be secured as the split sample.

If the test sample collected is greater than twice the minimum test sample requirement, a portion of the sample approximately equal to the test sample shipped to the primary testing laboratory shall be secured as the split sample.

J. Storage of split samples. Split samples shall be shipped to the testing laboratory with the primary samples. The testing laboratory shall maintain the split samples in a secure and frozen state and when requested by the commission, make the split samples available for further testing, in accordance with standard protocols for maintaining the chain of evidence. Split samples shall be so maintained at the testing laboratory until permission for their release and disposal is obtained from the Senior Commonwealth Steward, the Equine Medical Director, or the Executive Secretary.

K. Shipment of split samples. The trainer or owner of the horse having been notified of a positive test result may request that the split sample be shipped to one of the reference laboratories designated by the commission. The request must be made in writing and received by the commission not later than three business days after the trainer of the horse receives notification of the positive findings. The split sample shall be shipped to the requested reference laboratory by the testing laboratory. The owner, trainer, or designee shall travel to the storage facility of the testing laboratory to witness the removal, packaging, and shipping procedure unless he has waived this opportunity in writing. Failure of the trainer, owner, or designee to appear at the designated time and place, or otherwise attempting to interfere with the shipment of the split sample or payment of the costs, shall constitute a waiver of all rights to the testing of this split sample. The cost of shipment and additional testing shall be paid in a manner satisfactory to the commission by the permit holder requesting the testing of the split sample. Upon the expiration of this three-day period, the trainer or owner relinquishes his right to request a split sample.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 21, Issue 16, eff. May 18, 2005; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 16, eff. April 14, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 17, eff. May 27, 2009; Volume 26, Issue 19, eff. May 29, 2010; Volume 28, Issue 15, eff. April 16, 2012; Volume 31, Issue 18, eff. May 1, 2015.

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