The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is developing a five-prong plan to implement equine drug-testing standards similar to those used by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The Governor's Task Force on the Future of Horse Racing hopes to have the framework for a plan to create an equine drug-testing laboratory in Kentucky in place by the end of this year.
Gov. Steve Beshear has made new appointments to the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, which advises the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on equine drug-testing and research.
During a three-hour meeting of the Governor's Task Force on the Future of Horse Racing Sept. 19, the harsh reality of the lack of funding and staffing for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission was brought to light.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association hopes to have a long-term implementation plan for uniform equine health and safety measures in place within 30 days.
William S. Farish Jr. was unanimously re-elected as Breeders' Cup chairman, and R.D. Hubbard selected as vice chairman, during the third-quarter meeting of the Breeders' Cup board of directors Sept. 5.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously Aug. 25 to ban the use of anabolic steroids in racehorses, and the rules could be in place the first week of September should Gov. Steve Beshear sign an emergency regulation as expected.
The horseracing industry will continue with a serious push to enact reforms related to equine safety and drug testing, officials indicated Aug. 17 during and after The Jockey Club Round Table in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council has adopted a recommended ban on anabolic steroids that is classified as the "toughest in the country" by the panel's chairman.
Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush, chairman of the congressional subcommittee that held a June 19 hearing on the Thoroughbred racing industry, has questioned the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's decision to suspend trainer Rick Dutrow only 15 days for a clenbuterol positive.
A subcommittee of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has unanimously recommended that anabolic steroids be banned in horse racing in the state.
The 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale marked the first sale in which the auction company offered buyers the opportunity to have their horses tested for exogenous anabolic steroids.
Kentucky racing officials said they intend on having regulations for use of anabolic steroids in racehorses in place as quickly as possible, but discussion and research are still needed.
Bruce Levine, the leading trainer at Monmouth Park, had his entire stable of 41 horses tested for erythropoietin, commonly known as EPO, by a New Jersey state veterinarian who made a surprise visit to Levine's Monmouth barn June 24 at the request of the New Jersey Racing Commission.
Trainer Steve Asmussen was notified June 26 that a horse in his care tested positive for the Class 2 substance lidocaine following a May 10 maiden special weight race at Lone Star Park, and his lawyer said Asmussen would fight the charge.
A horse trained by Rick Dutrow tested positive for twice the allowable level of the bronchodilator clenbuterol.
The California Horse Racing Board will vote in July on regulatory changes that would result in stricter penalties for anabolic steroids violations, and is soliciting public comment prior to a July 17 hearing at Del Mar.
The bill is fairly minor in nature, enacting a series of mostly technical amendments to a law approved earlier this year giving NYRA a 25-year extension to run Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga. But NYRA officials have said they could not resolve its bankruptcy proceeding without it.
The New York Senate approved a bill June 23 that would establish a testing program for steroids in racehorses via horsemen's contributions.
The United States House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection has scheduled a hearing -- "Breeding, Drugs, and Breakdowns: The State of Thoroughbred Horseracing and the Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse" -- for June 19 in Washington, D.C.
A congressional subcommittee has demanded information from state racing commissions about racehorse breakdowns, drug use, and breeding.
The complicated nature of regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses came to light May 20 when discussion among members of the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council and others seemed to indicate the easiest route is an all-out ban on the substances.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is prepared for "every potential outcome" on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day, but no matter the result, developments in the area of equine health and welfare in the coming weeks and months are of the utmost importance, the organization's president and chief executive officer said.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission voted May 12 to extend the grace period for anabolic steroid positives at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs to 90 days.
Medication violations in California will be subject to stricter penalties under guidelines approved by the state's racing board.
The National Racing Compact, which currently authorizes multi-jurisdictional licensing for the pari-mutuel industry, is being offered as an alternative to possible federal regulation of aspects of the horseracing industry.
The ongoing process of regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses may have turned a corner March 25 when the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium made changes to its model rule. State regulators, however, remain concerned about funding for increased testing.
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.
Gary Sciacca was permitted to begin training horses in New York March 18 after serving a 120-day suspension under the trainer-responsibility rule.
The Virginia Racing Commission will offer free pre-race testing for anabolic and androgenic steroids in horses that race at Colonial Downs this year.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium will hold its spring board of directors meeting March 25 in conjunction with the Association of Racing Commissioners International annual convention in Austin, Texas.
An authority on drug testing who has worked with the United States Olympic Committee and is now advising the horse racing industry has urged caution on efforts to regulate anabolic steroids.
Regulation of anabolic and androgenic steroids in racehorses in Delaware will begin April 19 with an almost three-month "grace period" that will entail penalties.
Steroids, new emergency rules for horse racing, and updates on racetrack casino construction at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs dominated the discussion during the March 11 Indiana Horse Racing Commission meeting.
Nearly all of the more than 2,000 samples tested for anabolic steroids in Pennsylvania racehorses during a two-month period came back negative, state officials said March 4.
Indiana is moving forward with plans to implement regulation and testing of anabolic steroids in racehorses April 1.
A national regulator said uniform implementation of regulations for anabolic steroids in racehorses isn't practical and suggested horsemen "come clean to the races" voluntarily beginning April 1.
Members of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium haven't backed away from a call for regulation of anabolic steroids in racehorses, but on Jan. 31 they endorsed a Dec. 31, 2008, deadline for nationwide adoption of a model rule.
The model rule regulating use of anabolic steroids in racehorses is flawed and not based on scientific evidence, and the current state-by-state roll out of the regulations is problematic, horsemen's representatives said Jan. 25.
Just hours after horsemen and scientists questioned the model rule regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses and suggested a national roll-out of the rules later this year or early next year is more practical, regulators in the Mid-Atlantic region announced they are sticking with plans to implement the regulations as quickly as possible.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. is the only major auction firm that will regulate the use of exogenous anabolic steroids in 2-year-olds in training this year.
Though Keeneland's January horses of all ages sale was the first to be conducted under new policies allowing buyers the right to request testing for exogenous anabolic steroids in weanling and yearling purchases, there was only one such request made during the seven-day auction at which almost 1,500 horses were sold.
The head of a major horsemen's group in the United States has proposed a national approach for regulation of anabolic steroids in racehorses with an implementation date of Jan. 1, 2009.
- By Tom LaMarra
- News, Northeast Region, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is formulating a position on regulation of anabolic steroids in racehorses.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority supports the regulation of anabolic steroids in racehorses in the state, and took the first step toward drafting and adopting the revised model rule offered by the Association of Racing Commissioners International and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium during a Dec. 17 meeting.
Efforts by regulators in the Mid-Atlantic region to ban the use of steroids in racehorses continued Dec. 14 with an announcement by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission that the substances would be outlawed when Delaware Park opens for live racing in 2008.
Trainer Jeff Bonde was fined $1,000 for possession of contraband and his private veterinarian suspended for 30 days by stewards at Golden Gate Fields Dec. 13 after lidocaine was found in a post-race urine sample of a horse under their care.
As expected, states in the Mid-Atlantic region have announced they are working to implement a ban on anabolic steroids in racehorses effective April 1, 2008.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has hired Dr. William Muir as research coordinator and Hallie Roach as communications coordinator.
Use of anabolic and androgenic steroids in Thoroughbreds will be prohibited effective April 1, 2008, the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission announced Nov. 28.
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