Regulations ultimately resulting in a race-day ban on anabolic steroids most likely will be in place in many states in the Mid-Atlantic region by April 1, 2008.
Representatives of regulatory bodies in the region met the week of Oct. 1, said Alan Foreman, chief executive officer of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and chairman of the meetings, which are held regularly. Many issues remain: cost of testing, timing, implementation, and the fact two states have separate racing commissions for Thoroughbred and harness racing. But Foreman said the states are heading in the same direction.
“They’ll even be including recommended penalties for violators,” Foreman said. “They’ll move relatively swiftly and in unison.”
The states, which share borders, are Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Virginia already tests for steroids. West Virginia is expected to follow suit as it has with other medication rules, Foreman said.
In New York, adoption of regulations could take eight months to a year because of the regulatory and legislative process, he said.
Meanwhile, in an Oct. 9 meeting, the Delaware Harness Racing Commission opted not to adopt the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium model rule on regulation of anabolic steroids until more research is performed. DHRC officials said more research on anabolic steroids and determination of their effects on horses are necessary before rules can be implemented.
Foreman said Mid-Atlantic horsemen are aware of the national push for steroids regulation but haven’t seen the regional proposal. Individual states will have public comment periods before rules are adopted.