- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Two more greyhounds in Iowa have tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, this time at a track in the western part of the state, according to state regulators.

Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission officials confirmed Thursday that the two dogs tested positive for ractopamine, which commonly is administered to livestock to increase muscle mass, The Daily Nonpareil (https://bit.ly/1LRNiYY ) reported. The drug is barred in animal racing because it can mimic the effects of steroids - reducing body fat while enhancing muscle growth.

“There’s no reason for it to be in a greyhound,” Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Brian Ohorilko said.

The two dogs compete at Bluffs Run Greyhound Park in Council Bluffs. Officials said earlier this week that a dozen dogs tested positive for the drug at Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque.

The Iowa State diagnostic lab found the drug in dry food given to the dogs in Dubuque. A test of the dry food at Council Bluffs hasn’t been finished, Ohorilko told the newspaper.

After random and routine pre-race drugs tests come back positive for the greyhounds, “the first thing we worry about is the health and safety of the animals,” said Jeff Lamberti, chair of the Racing and Gaming Commission.

In Council Bluffs, the dogs were pulled from racing and are being quarantined and undergoing tests on the effects of the drug. An investigation is ongoing, but no racing teams or trainers have been suspended, Ohorilko said.

“If it’s a food contamination, that’s a whole different matter than being administered by trainers. We have to wait and see what’s going on,” Lamberti said. “We haven’t ruled anything out at this point.”

Bluffs Run is slated to close and is holding its final greyhound races in December.


Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, https://www.nonpareilonline.com

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