Anne M. Eberhardt

NMRC Bans Anabolic Steroids

Trainers may be suspended, fined, and/or lose purse money for violations.

(Edited press release)

The New Mexico Racing Commission unanimously approved a new regulation during a Feb. 12 meeting banning anabolic steroids and stating they are now considered a Class III drug. The penalties for trainers who violate the rule may include a six-month suspension, a fine of $1,500, and loss of purse.

The effective date for the new rule is March 1. The New Mexico Racing Commission acknowledged steroids can still be used on horses that have been injured and are not racing. In such cases, steroids are often used to help the animal’s healing process. However, under the new rule, before that horse can return to competition, it must test below certain thresholds for the four types of steroids covered by the new rule.

Those four steroids are: stanozolol, nandrolone, boldenone, and testosterone. Concentrations of these AAS shall not exceed the following urine threshold concentrations for total (i.e., free drug or metabolite and drug or metabolite liberated from its conjugates):

a) 16B-hydroxystanozolol (metabolite of stanozolol - 1 ng/ml in urine for all horses regardless of sex;

b) boldenone in male horses other than geldings - 15 ng/ml in urine; no boldenone shall be permitted in geldings or female horses;

c) nandrolone (in geldings - 1 ng/ml in urine, in fillies and mares - 1 ng/ml in urine);

d) testosterone (in geldings - 20 ng/ml in urine, in fillies and mares - 55 ng/ml in urine).

Commissioners, along with New Mexico Horsemen’s Association representatives and backside veterinarians agreed there is widespread support for the new regulation.

The commission decided, for now, to use urine samples for the testing; although it indicated it would be willing to look at using blood samples in the future.

The MNRC believes it’s crucial that all vets have a thorough understanding of the new rule in New Mexico and recommends interested individuals contact them at (505) 222-0700 for any additional information or copies of the rule.