The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority intends to regulate use of anabolic steroids in racehorses but will wait until research into the testing for steroids in plasma is completed this summer before it moves ahead.
KHRA executive director Lisa Underwood said meetings with horsemen would be held beginning in June before the regulatory process begins. Racing Medication and Testing Consortium research is designed to establish thresholds levels and withdrawals times for four Federal Drug Administration-approved steroids.
“We want to do it, but we want to do it right,” Underwood said March 25.
Underwood was one of many regulators in attendance at the Association of Racing Commissioners International convention in Austin, Texas. The RMTC on March 25 held an all-day meeting in Austin and spent several hours discussing regulation of anabolic steroids, attendees said.
The RMTC, which earlier this year called for uniform regulation of steroids throughout the United States by the end of this year, is expected to reveal the results of its meeting March 26, officials said. It's possible the RMTC could recommend a standard three-month grace period to allow horsemen time to transition into the new rules, which allow use of steroids for therapeutic purposes but effectively ban their use on race day.
Delaware, Indiana, and Pennsylvania will begin regulating steroids in April. Thus far, the states have taken different routes as far as grace periods and penalties are concerned, and some plan to test in urine, not blood.
Virginia, which like Iowa will test for steroids in urine, will offer free pre-race testing for steroids at Colonial Downs this year so horsemen can scratch their horses if necessary and avoid positive tests.