Anne M. Eberhardt

New Mexico Approves Uniform Medication Rules

With the move, state to reduce clenbuterol withdrawal time from 30 to 14 days.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico is the most recent state to have its racing commission approve uniform medication rules.

The newspaper reports the New Mexico Racing Commission, on Feb. 20, approved the Association of Racing Commissioners International's model rules. The model rules serve as the standards for a push toward national uniform medication—an effort that started in the Mid-Atlantic region—that allows 24 therapeutic medications in horse racing.

New Mexico is the 15th state to either adopt or move toward adopting the uniform medication rules.

New Mexico currently has a 30-day withdrawal time on clenbuterol. According to the Journal the New Mexico Racing Commission's Medications Committee Feb. 19 recommended a new clenbuterol withdrawal time of 14 days, which is in line with the uniform rules.

Clenbuterol has been abused in New Mexico in Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing. During the commission's medications committee meeting Wednesday, NMRC executive director Vince Mares said racing stewards have issued 73 citations for clenbuterol abuse in the past year. Committee member and racing steward David Keiter said it's not uncommon for post-race tests to show horses with five to 20 times the therapeutic level of clenbuterol.

"At those levels, it's being used to boost performance, not for its therapeutic use," Mares told the Journal.

The new standard becomes effective on Aug. 2, the start of The Downs at Albuquerque's 2014 racing season.