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UPDATE: Tenth District Court of Appeals Upholds Common Pleas Decision in Favor of Client

Published: Oct 04, 2019 by John Izzo

On September 26, 2019, the Tenth District Court of Appeals upheld a 2017 Common Pleas Decision in favor of our client, a standardbred trainer. The Appellate Court agreed with John Izzo that the Ohio State Racing Commission could not enforce a threshold against a trainer that had not been established according to state administrative law.

Quoting the Common Pleas’ Decision, the Appellate court said the “provision stating that the Commission ‘shall give due consideration’ to the ARCI guidelines obviously does not indicate that the Commission has, in fact, adopted the guidelines…”. For more information on the Appellate Court’s Decision, look for 2019-Ohio-3903.

The original posting appears below:

Graff & McGovern represented a Standardbred trainer accused by the Ohio State Racing Commission of racing a horse that exceeded the regulatory threshold of a dopamine metabolite. However, the Commission never established what the threshold was of the dopamine metabolite.

Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt agreed with Graff & McGovern that horsemen must be on notice as to what the regulatory threshold is for substances that naturally occur in horses, such as the dopamine metabolite. The Commission has a rule that states regulatory thresholds must be set by rule or order, and the Commission did neither for the dopamine metabolite. Instead, the Commission relied upon the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) to set and publish a threshold for the dopamine metabolite.

Judge Beatty Blunt found that the Racing Commission did not follow its own rule. As a result, she found in the trainer’s favor and REVERSED the Commission’s Order.

When dealing with administrative agencies, it is important to be familiar with the agency’s rules. In some instances, such as this case, the agency’s rules can be used against them.

If you have any questions about the Ohio State Racing Commission, any other state agency, or how to challenge agency orders, you should consider contacting an attorney at Graff & McGovern. John Izzo of Graff & McGovern can be reached at 614-215-9957, extension 5, or