5 more greyhounds test positive for cocaine

Dogs owned by same kennel that employed now-suspended trainer

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ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Five more racing greyhounds used at the Bestbet track in Orange Park have tested positive for a cocaine derivative, News4Jax has learned.

The State Department of Business and Professional Regulation is now investigating a second trainer, Natasha Nemeth.

Trainer Charles McClellan had his license suspended last month after state investigators found that 17 dogs he trains tested positive for a substance called benzoylecgonine, referred to as a metabolite of cocaine.

Nemeth worked for the same kennel as McClellan, which is owned by Steve Sarras.

A spokesperson for the Bestbet of Orange Park said the track is not aware of the latest complaints filed with the state that range from October of last year to May of this year, but that Sarras' kennel is no longer affiliated with the track.

Sarras insists that drugs were never put in the dogs' systems and that the exposure to the substance was just from the environment. He said the amounts found in their systems are so small that they would never show up in federal testing on humans, let alone greyhounds.

Both trainers will have the opportunity to appeal the findings with the state later this summer.

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