By T. D. Thornton
The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) uninimoulsy voted to adopt two Thoroughbred-related medication rule changes at its May 17 meeting, although the exact timetable for implementation was not discussed.
Pending official adoption of the new rule, clenbuterol use in Thoroughbred racing will be regulated so it follows the model rule proposal of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC).
“Clenbuterol, a drug that is ordinarily used in horses as a bronchodilator to treat horses with lower airway disease, also causes a horse's body to build more muscle and reduce its fat content and has the potential to enhance performance,” NYSGC general counsel Edmund Burns wrote in a brief included in the informational packet for Monday's meeting.
Burns wrote that the newly amended NYSGC rules “would require the attending veterinarian to receive written approval [from] the Commission of a clenbuterol treatment plan for an identified horse prior to the start of such treatment. The proposal would also require that all clenbuterol administrations be reported to the Commission at the time of administration.
“The proposal would also require horses treated with clenbuterol to be placed on the veterinarian's list and not be removed until a workout for a regulatory veterinarian is performed and the horse is found to be negative for clenbuterol in blood and urine.
“In addition, horses on the veterinarian's list for clenbuterol use would be required to submit to periodic tests while on such list to ensure that no more clenbuterol is administered to the horse than necessary to complete the pre-approved treatment
regimen and to ensure that muscle-building and fat-reducing effects have dissipated before the horse is removed from the veterinarian's list,” Burns wrote.
A second rule conforms the NYSGC rules on thresholds for controlled therapeutic medications to national model rules of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc. (ARCI).
“ARCI modified the model rule thresholds for three drugs (detomidine, omeprazole and xylazine) based on developing research,” Burns wrote. “ARCI also added to the list of thresholds amounts for another four routine therapeutic medications, three of which are antihistamines (cetirizine, cimetidine and ranitidine) and one of which is a muscle relaxant used in anesthetic protocols (guaifensin). The thresholds are consistent with New York's existing restricted time periods. Trainers who comply with such restricted time periods will be assured of not violating such thresholds.”