Use of anabolic and androgenic steroids in Thoroughbreds will be prohibited effective April 1, 2008, the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission announced Nov. 28.
The commission will step up testing for steroids as part of the directive. Officials are telling trainers and veterinarians to discontinue administration of steroids by Dec. 1 to allow for elimination of them from a horse’s system prior to the ban taking effect next year.
Horses racing at the following tracks are affected: Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack, and Presque Isle Downs.
Earlier this fall, Alan Foreman, chief executive officer of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, said he believed race-day bans on anabolic steroids will be in place in many states in the Mid-Atlantic region by April 1, 2008. Virginia already has a ban, and New York is taking comments on proposed steroids regulations.
Many issues remain, including cost of testing, timing, implementation, and the fact two states (Delaware and Pennsylvania) have separate racing commissions for Thoroughbred and harness racing.
The Pennsylvania commission noted that an “acceptable plasma concentration” of two naturally occurring steroids--nandrolone and testosterone--has been established for intact male horses.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is attempting to get all racing jurisdictions to adopt model rules for regulation of steroids on race day.