AGC Communications Coordinator Jim Gartland said today that Grey2K’s most recent attack on greyhound racing should be taken “with a grain of salt.”  He made the comment in a statement responding to the Grey2K document, “No Confidence: Drugs in the American Greyhound Industry,” published yesterday. Here is the complete text of the AGC statement:

The pseudo-report released today by Grey2K, “No Confidence,” is aptly named, since the public should have no confidence in the data or conclusions expressed in it. As usual, Grey2K has manufactured an issue where there is none.

It is noteworthy that Grey2K could point to only 847 positive drug tests over a ten-year period. To put that number in context, out of more than 6,000,000 racing starts in the past ten years, a total of 847 greyhounds tested positive for drugs. That’s a .0001percent rate of positive tests–less than a ten-thousandth of one percent.

Grey2K hypes the significance of the 71 positive cocaine tests, but when examined against those 6,000,000 racing starts over ten years, that incidence rate is even lower–it’s .00001, or less than a one-hundred thousandth of one percent.

Grey2K also deliberately failed to mention that these tests showed no major drug presence but merely traces of cocaine or cocaine metabolites, most often attributable to contact with and transfer from human handlers, just as U.S. currency contains trace amounts of cocaine left behind by the people who handle it.

The fact is that there has never been a single documented instance where a racing greyhound’s performance was found to have been measurably enhanced by the ingestion of illegal drugs. In fact, veterinarians tell us that a drug dose large enough to significantly enhance a greyhound’s performance would probably kill the dog.

The steroid issue is similarly bogus. The steroids used to control estrus and manage reproduction in female greyhounds while they are actively engaged in racing bears virtually no resemblance to the high-powered drugs used by athletes and body builders. They are administered in a very low dose under veterinary supervision, have no performance consequences and no negative side effects for the dogs.

Grey2K’s “No Confidence” report presents data without context and conclusions without evidence. It is designed for one purpose and one purpose alone–to attract media attention and raise money. The media and the public should take it with a grain of salt.