Florida state regulators have suspended a greyhound trainer’s license after a dozen of his racing dogs tested positive for cocaine.
At least 12 dogs in the care of trainer Charles McClellan recently tested positive for cocaine, Jacksonville’s WTLV-TV reported Friday citing newly obtained Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation records.
The documents, dated June 9, said the dozen greyhounds tested positive in March and April for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, and claimed their trainer posed “a threat to animals in his control, custody and care,” the station reported.
Mr. McClellan was cited for a Class 1 drug violation for each positive test and had his trainer’s license immediately suspended by the state, and a hearing on the matter has been scheduled for Aug 23, the station reported.
“This is the largest greyhound drug case in American history,” said Cary Theil, the executive director of GREY2K USA, a Boston-based racing watchdog. “This is staggering,” he told the news station.
All 12 of the dogs that tested positive for cocaine had raced at Bestbet Orange Park, south of Jacksonville, and at least one of the greyhounds won first pace in her race the same day she tested positive for cocaine, WTLV reported.
“Bestbet Orange Park completely supports the swift action taken by the state in this matter and as always, fully cooperated with state officials as they conducted their random and routine tests,” the track said in a statement. “Bestbet Orange Park maintains a zero-tolerance policy for any trainer or staff member that does anything which puts one of the dog’s health at risk. In this instance, the process carried out by the state of Florida and the regulators was carefully followed under state law. The bottom line is, the system worked.”
Twelve of the 19 dog tracks in the U.S. are located in Florida, and all but 10 states have banned the activity, the Associated Press reported.