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 board of directors of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), in consultation with the RMTC Scientific Advisory Committee, approved policy recommendations for the use of steroids. The action took place at an RMTC board meeting March 25 Austin, Texas.
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.
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.
By Rep. Ed Whitfield - Three years ago, Congress examined the explosion of steroid use plaguing Major League Baseball. The integrity of the game was called into question and a dark cloud was cast over America's favorite pastime.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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 - 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 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.
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.
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.