By Eric Mitchell - The drumbeat to regulate steroids in sale horses is loud and growing. But if the industry only implements a ban on steroids and moves on, then it's missed an opportunity to address other important issues.
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.
By Alex Waldrop - On Feb. 27, I appeared before a Congressional Subcommittee for a hearing entitled, "Drugs in Sports: Compromising the Health of Athletes and Undermining the Integrity of Competition."
Twenty-one horses sold during the Ocala Breeder's Sales Co. February select juvenile auction were tested for anabolic steroids at the request of their buyers, and there were no positive results.
A congressional subcommittee was told Feb. 27 that while testing for drugs in horse racing isn't perfect, the current model is both effective and ever-improving.
U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky opened a Feb. 27 congressional hearing on the use of steroids in sports by claiming leaders of horse racing have repeatedly failed on promises to self-regulate medication issues.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has funded a research project to study threshold levels and withdrawal times of four approved anabolic steroids. But the timing of the study, which should be completed by August, could make it difficult for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to implement steroid regulations in the state by Jan. 1, 2009.
National Thoroughbred Racing Association president and chief executive officer Alex Waldrop has been asked to testify in Washington, D.C., during a hearing titled "Drugs in Sports: Compromising the Health of Athletes and Undermining the Integrity of Competition."
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - The industry has one chance to get it right or the federal government may intervene.
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 Maryland Racing Commission remains committed to regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses, but will delay implementation of a model rule given questions about the rule itself and laboratory testing procedures.
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.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California would like to see national auction reform efforts taken to another level.
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.
An impending Congressional hearing on steroid use in Major League Baseball -- and the possibility the inquiry could expand to other sports -- has led the Thoroughbred racing industry to take preemptive action on Capitol Hill.
- 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.
- By Dan Liebman
By - Dan Liebman - Compile a list of important issues facing the Thoroughbred industry in 2008 and integrity would surely be included. Well, racing is not alone.
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.
- By Dan Liebman
By - Dan Liebman - On Dec. 9, the Cathay Pacific International Races were held in Hong Kong. The following day, the Breeders' Cup announced it was adding three new races to its World Championships program. The terms "international" and "world" may imply the same thing, but there is little that is similar about the two events.
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.
Use of anabolic and androgenic steroids in Thoroughbreds will be prohibited effective April 1, 2008, the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission announced Nov. 28.
Goffs/Doncaster Bloodstock Sales in Ireland will extend blood testing for banned drugs to include anabolic steroids beginning Jan. 1, 2008.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board is soliciting public opinion regarding the possible adoption of new anabolic steroid restrictions in New York for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing.
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.
Indiana has become the first state to adopt model rules for regulating use of anabolic steroids in racehorses, but horsemen and others believe the move could be premature.
- By Ron Mitchell
As part of a program to determine a baseline for naturally occurring steroids in yearlings, blood samples will be taken and tested from some horses offered at the Keeneland yearling sale that begins Sept. 10 and at the Fasig-Tipton yearling sale Oct. 22-24.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council supports the regulation of anabolic steroids in horses at racetracks and auctions in the state but has requested further explanation of withdrawal times and other testing-related issues included in the model rule offered by the Association of Racing Commissioners International and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association will add four commonly used anabolic steroids to the list of substances for which horses must be tested in graded stakes effective Jan. 1, 2008.
Horsemen and chemists believe drug positives aren't cut and dried, but regulators suggest the interests of the public, members of which may not understand the science of drug testing, must be protected.
Members of the Virginia Racing Commission acted on a wide range of issues at their monthly meeting May 16, including the implementation of testing for race day steroid levels and the reversion of an apprentice jockey license.
Only about 12% of horses tested for clenbuterol had measurable levels of the medication in 193 blood samples taken recently, according to Dr. Rick Arthur's report Thursday to the California Horse Racing Board medication committee.
Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland have formed a committee that includes veterinarians and breeders to develop a policy that will involve testing for the inappropriate use of anabolic steroids at their Kentucky sales.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - Steroids have been at the center of scandals in numerous sports, particularly track and field and baseball, but the only steroid scandal in racing is that they are legal.
Racing officials Dec. 7 confirmed a push for regulation of anabolic steroids, and also said the therapeutic substances could be upgraded to Class 3 under Association of Racing Commissioners International guidelines by April 2007.
Members of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium are expected to recommend regulation of anabolic steroids in racehorses, but the timetable for the regulations remains up in the air.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - A survey of buyers of Thoroughbred weanlings, yearlings, and 2-year-olds discovered that surgeries to correct conformation defects have a significant influence on whether or not someone will buy a horse at public auction.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium plans to recommend a model policy on anabolic steroids later this year and also has approved a plan to establish model policies for withdrawal times for therapeutic drugs used in racehorses.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners' Task Force on Medication Issues at Public Auction has released its recommendations for medication usage in horses presented for sale at public auctions.
While steroid use by human athletes has caused a firestorm of controversy, trainers in California are being warned to avoid using anabolic steroids on their horses because of increased testing and uncertainty about withdrawal times. But the director of the state's drug-testing laboratory said the concern is misplaced.
Corticosteroids, which serve as anti-inflammatory agents, will be the focus of a panel discussion July 21 during the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association summer convention in Toronto, Canada.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Major League Baseball is trying to come to grips with a growing drug scandal involving anabolic steroids that some people feel already has tarnished some of the sport's most sacred records. It's one scandal that, for now, racing has managed to avoid.
By Barry Irwin -- If you want to know which illegal drugs might appear next in horse racing, consider that every drug which has found its way into horse racing was first used in track and field or cycling.
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