Kentucky Horse Racing Commission
Racing Commission Approves Steroids Ban

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, August 26, 2008  
Contact Information:  Lisa Underwood, 859-246-2040  


The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) has voted to ban anabolic steroids for thoroughbred and standardbred racing. The commission asked Gov. Steve Beshear to adopt the changes in state law through emergency regulation.

"This is a historic change in Kentucky’s signature industry," said Robert Beck Jr., KHRC’s chairman. "This action puts the commonwealth at the forefront nationally in ensuring the integrity of racing."

In voting to change state laws regulating steroids, KHRC amended the recommendations of the Equine Drug Research Council, which studied the issue and voted Aug. 14 for the ban. After the EDRC made its recommendations some concerns were raised on three matters and those concerns were addressed in the version approved by the KHRC today.

First, all anabolic steroids are placed in the Class B category when assessing penalties. Second, trainers who ship horses to Kentucky shortly before the race may either follow the reporting requirements set forth in the regulation, certify that the horse has not received anabolic steroids in the last 60 days or, if the trainer cannot certify that the horse has not had anabolic steroids because he recently took the horse under his care, then the trainer must acknowledge and accept responsibility if a positive test result is returned for anabolic steroids.

Third, the prohibition against administering steroids during the 90-day grace period was clarified. The ban on the use of anabolic steroids will begin immediately upon the effective date of the emergency regulation. A positive test during the last 30 days of the 90 day period will be considered an aggravating factor in any subsequent case involving a violation of the drug rule.

A positive finding during the last 30 days of the 90-day period accompanied by evidence of administration within the preceding 60 days shall constitute a violation of the drug rule. The trainer and owner will be notified if there is a positive test for an anabolic steroid during the last 60 days of the 90-day period.

Under the amended law, anabolic steroids may not be present in a horse that is racing. Horses may be given boldenone, nandrolone or testosterone for therapeutic reasons only under certain conditions. The presence of any naturally occurring anabolic steroid above natural levels also will be considered a violation.

The new regulation states that a horse will be ineligible to race in Kentucky until at least 60 days after a therapeutic anabolic steroid is administered and after KHRC has received a clean test report on the horse from an approved lab.

Penalties for anabolic steroids also were strengthened, which is in line with the model rules. Detection of an anabolic steroid will be treated as a Class B violation, punishable by a license suspension of up to 60 days for the first offense.

Under the 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 at the track, at the claimant’s cost. The claimant may void the transaction if the test is positive.

"Anabolic steroids should not be present in a horse that is racing. The betting public, the other trainers and owners should be confident that the race is being run on a level playing field. This rule will go a long way toward eliminating anabolic steroids from the sport." said Lisa Underwood, KHRC’s executive director.