Bobby Zen

Dr. Cynthia Cole has been named the acting laboratory director of the UK Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (EACL), effective March 15, 2024, according to a press release from the University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Cole brings over 30 years of experience to the role, with a diverse background spanning academia, industry and research, according to the UK release.  Previously, Cole served as an associate clinical professor and director of The Racing Laboratory at the University of Florida from 2002-2006 and again from 2018-2023 when the laboratory closed.

Just last week, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) suspended its accreditation of the University of Kentucky’s Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, according to the RMTC’s executive director, Michael Hardy.

That followed news the prior week that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) and Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) had opened an investigation into the UK Laboratory’s performance, and that the agencies were cooperating with the university’s own investigation into the matter.

The university is also conducting an ongoing personnel investigation relating to former lab director Scott Stanley and that “Dr. Stanley was not permitted to be in direct communication with the other staff at the laboratory,” HISA and HIWU wrote in a joint statement two weeks ago.

HIWU stopped sending samples to the UK Lab on Feb. 16. Prior to that, the laboratory had been one of six drug testing facilities used under HISA’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) program. According to the RMTC’s Hardy, his organization alerted the University of Kentucky to the RMTC’s laboratory accreditation suspension on Mar. 11.

Cole was one of the founding faculty members of the KL Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California, Davis (1995-2002). She holds a D.V.M., Ph.D. and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Florida and is recognized as a Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology. Cole has also made significant contributions in her industry roles at Mars Petcare, Novartis Animal Health, IDEXX and Piedmont Pharmaceuticals.

In her role as acting director, Cole will oversee all operations of the laboratory, including reviewing procedures from sample receiving to results and ensuring compliance with all applicable accreditation criteria.

“With the resources, energy and support that UK, the racing industry, elected policymakers and other stakeholders have invested in the Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, it is poised to be an industry leader in forensic drug testing,” said Dr. Cole. “Moving forward, and working with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit and regulators of sport horse competitions, I am confident that we can achieve that vision.”

Leveraging her background in veterinary medicine and pharmacology, Cole will also provide guidance on chemistry and sample analysis to ensure the accuracy and reliability of testing procedures. Additionally, she will supervise daily laboratory activities, offering leadership and support to staff members to maintain the highest standards of performance.

“We warmly welcome Dr. Cole to the college,” said Nancy Cox, vice president of land-grant engagement and dean of Martin-Gatton CAFE. “Her extensive experience and proven leadership will be instrumental in advancing the EACL’s history of providing drug testing that meets the highest industry standards. She will also be instrumental in upholding the integrity of the equine industry, advancing the health and welfare of the horse.”

The post UK Hires Dr. Cynthia Cole As Acting Lab Director appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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