Athletes (Dogs) Test Positive for Drugs (Cocaine) in Florida
The greyhounds' trainer has had his license suspended
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 30, 2017 7:50 PM CDT
In this Aug. 8, 2014 photo, greyhounds compete at Wheeling Island Racetrack in Wheeling, W.Va.   (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via AP)

(Newser) – At least 12 greyhound racing dogs in Florida have tested positive for cocaine, and their trainer has had his license suspended, the AP reports. It's at least the second instance this year of racing greyhounds testing positive for cocaine. The dogs raced at Bestbet Orange Park near Jacksonville. The state is home to 12 of the 19 dog tracks in the US, where 40 states have outlawed the sport. Although supporters say the dogs are treated well, the industry faces intense scrutiny. Records show Florida's greyhound industry has had 62 cocaine positives since 2008.

In the Jacksonville area case, the dogs tested positive in March and April for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, according to documents from the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The documents are dated June 9 and say that trainer Charles McClellan "is a threat to animals in his control, custody, and care." In a statement to news outlets, Bestbet Orange Park said it supports the swift action taken by the state in suspending the trainer's license. Regulators don't typically investigate how the dogs got cocaine in their systems, and it's unclear in the latest case how that happened. The likely scenarios are someone trying to fix races, or the trainer using the drug and the dogs coming in contact by accident.

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