||Texas Racing Commission Announces Anabolic
Steroid Testing, Toe Grab Rule to Begin January 1, 2009
the October 7, 2008, meeting of the Texas Racing Commission (TxRC), Dr.
Stewart Marsh, Chief Veterinarian, presented an update on anabolic steroid
testing and toe grabs. He reported that the Commission will begin anabolic
steroid testing starting on January 1, 2009, under the Commission’s
existing rule authority. As a result, horsemen should no longer administer
anabolic steroids to any horse intended for competition. Also starting
on January 1, the Commission will instruct the racetrack associations
to use House Rules to limit toe grabs on Thoroughbred horses to two millimeters.
Concurrently, the Commission will undergo the rule making process to adopt
the Racing Commissioners’ International (RCI) model rule on anabolic
steroid testing and a comprehensive rule to address limitations on toe
grabs and other traction devices.
According to Charla Ann King, Executive Director of the Texas Racing
Commission, the Commission has been studying the use and impact of anabolic
steroids on racehorses through its Safety and Medication Working Group.
In coordination with the industry, the Commission has conducted an anabolic
steroid study based on 40 on-track horses in training. The results of
this study as well as other states studies are pending. Further modifications
and refinements to the RCI model rule on anabolic steroid testing may
be proposed based on the results of these studies.
The Commission will move forward on the RCI Model Rule on Anabolic Steroid
Testing and a comprehensive toe grab rule at its December 2, 2008, meeting.
After receiving public comment, the rules would be ready for final adoption
in February 2009. This schedule will allow the Commission to adopt specific
threshold concentrations for anabolic steroids that would be consistent
with study results and national uniform guidelines. It also will meet
the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s recommended schedule
for maintaining graded stakes races.