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Top NY court vacates penalty for EPO/DPO positive

December 30, 2009

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On Dec. 24, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Third Department, issued a Decision and Judgment in the case of Dennis J. Laterza versus the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.  The Appeals Court reversed and vacated a five-year trainer's license revocation which the Racing and Wagering Board had imposed against Dennis Laterza for a trainer's responsibility violation. The Racing Board had claimed that the substance EPO/DPO was administered to the harness race horse Lemon Pepper within seven days of the horse's scheduled race date at Yonkers Raceway on April 27, 2007.
The Appeals Court found that the Racing and Wagering Board failed to establish, and that there was no competent proof, that the substance was administered within seven days of the race date as specifically required by the Racing Board regulation 9 NYCRR Section 4120.2(h). Most states/jurisdictions have a complete prohibition on EPO/DPO in the horse.
On cross-examination by Dennis Laterza's attorney Marvin Newberg, Esq., the New York Racing Board's expert, Dr. Cornelius Uboh of the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology Research Laboratory testified that he did not attempt to ascertain the quantity or dose of the substance administered and that he was not asked to determine whether the New York seven day rule had been violated.  All violations as well as the revocation of trainer Laterza's license were annulled.
The decision read as follows: "...the record fails to establish, as required, that it (EPO/DPO) was administered within the seven-day proscribed period (see 9 NYCRR 4120.2 [h])...the record reflects that respondent retained Uboh solely to confirm the presence of this substance and not to ascertain the timing of when it was administered.
Here is the link to the entire decision:
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