N.Y. Racing Regulators to Consider Standard Drug Thresholds

N.Y. Racing Regulators to Consider Standard Drug Thresholds

Racing regulators in New York are poised to enact new threshold levels for 24 equine drugs.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Racing regulators in New York are poised to enact new threshold levels for 24 equine drugs as well as propose rules to regulate shock wave and similar therapy on Thoroughbred racehorses.

The latter regulations mirror existing policies by the New York Racing Association, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) said Nov. 4. The commission's new drug rules will be run by the industry in a series of meetings, including a public hearing, in December or early January.

Most of the 24 drugs, identified by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, are seen as therapeutic in nature as opposed to performance-enhancing. The rules augment New York's "time-based'' drug rules that prohibit certain drugs from being in a horse's urine or blood within a certain period of time before a race.

Now, the NYSGC wants to set precise levels, above which the presence of any of the 24 drugs would be considered a violation of the rules.

"The adoption of these thresholds would simplify the process of proving the use of any substance to affect race performance,'' according to a letter from the agency's general counsel to the board members who are set to pass the proposed rule. There will be a public comment period before adoption.

"The new regulatory thresholds would not be violated by a trainer whose clinical administrations of these drugs fall outside of these new restricted time periods,'' wrote Edmund Burns, the agency's general counsel.

NYSGC staff believes current restricted time periods for some drugs can be reduced; they cited drugs such as dantrolene, detomidine, and methocarbamol as examples. The proposed drug threshold levels set specific allowable levels for the 24 drugs, such as acepromazine (10 ng/ml in urine) and betamethasone (10 pg/ml in plasma).

The NYSGC will consider certain carve outs for Standardbred horses to take into account that such horses race more often.

The commission is also set to make permanent a previously proposed rule to substitute plasma for urine for the purposes of testing for the presence of certain anabolic steroids in racehorses.

Originally published on BloodHorse.com.

About the Author

Tom Precious

Tom Precious also writes for The Blood-Horse, sister magazine to The Horse.

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