McKeever Testifies at N.Y. State Gaming Commission Hearing

Kenneth McKeever, MS, PhD, FACSM, a professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers University and associate director of research, at the Rutgers Equine Science Center, provided expert testimony during a New York State Gaming Commission hearing on Jan. 21 in Schenectady, N.Y.

The public hearing was in regards to the proposed adoption of controlled therapeutics medication rules published on pages 17-35 of the Dec. 4, 2013 State Register.

The hearing's purpose was to collect “testimony about adoption of per se regulatory thresholds for 24 approved equine medications and amending pre-race restricted time periods for various drugs.”

On a basic level, McKeever’s research has focused on comparative exercise and cardiovascular physiology with a particular interest in the effects of aging on the integration of the cardiovascular, renal, and endocrine systems in the control of blood pressure, blood volume, and fluid and electrolyte balance.

On an applied level, his research has focused on the effects of performance-enhancing practices on the physiologic responses of the equine athlete. In particular, recent projects have examined the effects of various drugs including clenbuterol, enalapril, Epogen, ephedra, and various potential alkalinizing agents.

“It is my responsibility, as a scientist with a proven track record of peer-reviewed research on the effects of clenbuterol in Standardbred racehorses, to provide the scientific data to a regulatory body which is deliberating the use of that agent in racehorses,” said McKeever.

Karyn Malinowski, PhD, director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center, said McKeever has assisted the racing community in its policy decision making about threshold and withdrawal times for permitted therapeutic medications outlined in recommendations from the Racing Medications Testing Consortium.

“Ken’s testimony at the New York State Gaming Commission’s hearing on equine drug rules provided science-based evidence on the repartitioning effects of clenbuterol in horses based on research conducted in his laboratory at the Equine Science Center,” said Malinowski.

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