Dog racing apparently has a bit of a coke problem. Two months ago, five dogs racing out of St. Petersburg, Fla., tested positive for cocaine, and it seems that the problem is not just limited to the Tampa Bay area.
According to a report from First Coast News, 18 more dogs at a Jacksonville track tested positive for Benzoylecgonine, a cocaine metabolite. A dozen of those dogs were under the supervision of trainer Charles McLellan, who has since had his license suspended. After each race, the winning dog and a dog selected at random are chosen for urine tests and one of McLellan’s hounds, Flicka, recorded her two fastest times in races where she tested positive for cocaine.
“This is the largest greyhound drug case in American history,” says Carey Theil, Executive Director of GREY2K USA in Arlington, Mass., a non-profit that opposes greyhound racing and monitors dog tracks around the country. “This is staggering.”
The track, Bestbet Orange Park, issued a statement denying any systematic wrongdoing, although racing experts quoted by First Coast News are fairly suspicious given the widespread abuses revealed by drug tests. McLellan has been cited for a Class 1 drug violation for each positive test.