Steroid ban recommended to racing commission

The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council passed a recommendation on Thursday that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission adopt a ban on anabolic steroids for thoroughbred and standardbred racing that council chairman Dr. Jerry Yon called the ”toughest in the country.“

The Horse Racing Commission will review the recommendation at its regularly scheduled meeting on Aug 25.

Under the proposed amendment to the drug regulation, anabolic steroids may not be administered to a horse that is in competition. In addition, the presence of any naturally occurring anabolic steroid in a racehorse that is above natural levels will constitute a violation of the drug rule. The rule sets forth naturally occurring physiological levels for Boldenone, Nandrolone and Testosterone. Horses can be given those steroids for therapeutic reasons only under certain conditions.

The proposed regulation states that a horse will be ineligible to race in Kentucky until at least 60 days after administration of the therapeutic anabolic steroid and the racing commission has received a clean test report on the horse from a laboratory approved by the Kentucky equine medical director.

”These recommendations make it clear to the people of Kentucky just how serious we are in ensuring the safety and welfare of our racing horses,“ said Yon, who also is a member of the Horse Racing Commission. ”This action would also go a long way in leveling the field for our bettors through this most up-to-date and scientifically based rule for banning anabolic steroid use in horses who are racing in the country.“

In addition, the drug council on Thursday recommended strengthening the penalties for detection of anabolic steroids. If a synthetically produced steroid is detected, the violation will be treated as a Class A violation, punishable by a license suspension up to three years.

A positive test for a naturally occurring steroid will be treated as a Class B violation, which could result in a 60-day license suspension. Under the existing drug rule, those steroids are treated as a Class C medications, carrying a penalty of up to 10 days' suspension.

Under the proposed new rules, a person who claims a horse may request that the horse be tested for anabolic steroids at the time the claim form is filed with the racetrack. The claimant will bear the cost of the test. If the test results are positive, the claimant may void the claim.