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.
The grace period, which began for Thoroughbreds April 25, was previously set for 45 days. IHRC executive director Joe Gorajec said the change was made to reflect new recommendations from the Association of Racing Commissioners International and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium in late March.
“At the RCI convention in Austin, the RMTC had a directors meeting, coming out with a 90-day grace period,” Gorajec said. “In order to be consistent, we elongated our grace period.”
With the revised grace period, horses currently racing at Indiana Downs will compete through the duration of the 54-day meet without ramifications for a positive test for steroids. Once the grace period expires, horsemen with horses found in violation of Indiana’s steroid policy will be fined and required to forfeit the purse. The change impacts the Indiana Downs meet and the harness meet currently conducted at Hoosier Park.
“We didn’t have an opposition to the change,” Gorajec said. “The Indiana (Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association) was in favor of the new grace period.”
The Indiana Downs meet will conclude July 8; Hoosier Park’s Thoroughbred meet begins Aug. 29. According to Gorajec, the IHRC has received results from the first week of testing during Hoosier Park’s harness meet, which began April 5. No positive tests for steroids were found in the roughly 20 horses--two per race--randomly tested daily.
The IHRC voted unanimously last September to adopt steroid testing, becoming the first jurisdiction to use the RCI model rule.