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Bill Would Ban Steroid Use On Florida Greyhounds

Florida Capitol/Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Orlando democrat Carlos Guillermo Smith has filed a bill that would ban steroids for greyhound racing dogs.

Guillermo Smith teamed up with Sarasota Republican Alexandra Miller on the bill that bans injecting female race dogs with anabolic steroids, or testosterone.

Injections are allowed for racing dogs in heat. But Smith says the dogs are routinely injected as a way to push their limits on the race track.

Jack Cory lobbies for the Florida Greyhound Association. The Florida Department of Business and Regulation already monitors greyhound racing, said Cory, making the bill unnecessary.

“They do both blood tests and urine tests after all races, and if it was a problem it would be the department’s problem,” said Cory. “And I don’t think it is. I think the department does a very effective job of enforcing any drug that could enhance racing.”

The state says it collects random urine samples at each race. A positive result above an established threshold for testosterone could result in a fine, license suspension or the trainer’s license being revoked.

Guillermo Smith said the side effects of testosterone on greyhounds are detrimental. “They have had a negative impact on the dog’s heart function, also cartilage damage, liver damage, kidney damage,” he said.

There are fewer than 20 greyhound tracks nationwide, and 12 of them are in Florida.

Editor’s Note: The story was updated to include how the state tests for anabolic steroids.

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About Catherine Welch

Catherine Welch