Saturday, October 4, 2003

Chairman seeks stricter race-day drug standards



The Associated Press

LEXINGTON - The chairman of the Kentucky Racing Commission said he wants limits on anti-bleeding drugs for horses on race days.

Although Kentucky imposed medication restrictions a year ago, it still has the loosest horse-drug policy of any state, allowing multiple anti-inflammation drugs to be used on race day.

Commission Chairman Frank Shoop wants to make Salix - formerly called Lasix - the only anti-bleeding drug permitted on race day.

Shoop also pressed for national drug and testing rules at a commission meeting Thursday.

"If we're going to have uniform race day, we have to have a drug test everyone adheres to, to make sure the playing field is level," Shoop said.

Critics of existing medication rules say years of reliance has weakened the breed. Supporters say clamping down on anti-inflammation drugs will keep more horses out of races.

Shoop said the commission will hold several hearings this fall on medication rules. He said he expects the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium to back the Salix-only rule when it meets in December. Shoop said the consortium should make a recommendation soon for all racing states to embrace. Scot Waterman, the consortium's executive director, would not discuss details of the policy.

"I cannot overemphasize how important I feel that this is," Shoop said.

But Shoop, a Democrat, acknowledges he may not be chairman if the new rules are adopted - a new chairman could be named after the gubernatorial election in November.

"I want to load the cannon," he said. "If I'm not the chairman, I want somebody else to be able to pull the trigger. But I think it's the right thing to do for Kentucky and the equine industry."

Several commission members - and others - approved of Shoop's recommendation.

Trainer Elliott Walden said tighter rules "would be a step in the right direction of unifying medication across state lines."




TOP STORIES
Height always had faith that society can change
Tonight's awards go to rights advocates
RFK center strives for human rights
Empowerment official sought in theft-ring case
Catholics meet to map change

IN THE TRISTATE
Memorial to celebrate 20th year
Regional Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Bronson: Tax-and-spend Republicans are strangling Ohio
Faith Matters: Jain Center's history honored
Howard: Good Things Happening
McNutt: Riverside town welcomes bigger branch library

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Mill Creek gets art boost
Crashes claim two lives on Clermont highways
New Miami fires clerk, says she bungled finances
Man applauded for saving girl
Relocated Skatetown ready to roll again
Fernald clean-up change proposed
Mason forums examine overflowing schools
MU student senate ponders role
Local 'Survivor' veteran faces financial reality
Wal-Mart Supercenter proposed
Booking a Warren County hotel room just got easier

OBITUARIES
Charles F. Doll was longtime headwaiter

OHIO
Charge dropped in '77 killing because of murky evidence
Deaths of firefighters leave small town in pain
Board says Ohio can keep tax Tyson paid
Election workers won't have union
Dozens of students arrested after high school prank
House member's term too long?
Dept. of Energy agreement saves jobs at uranium plant
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
School nearing reality
Man who chained teenage girl is found guilty
Airport settles land dispute
The Enquirer wants your opinions
Fletcher's new campaign ads criticize Chandler
Kentucky Guardsman killed in Iraq remembered as compassionate man
Chairman seeks stricter race-day drug standards
Lawsuit seeks to block Kentucky Medicaid cuts
Mars Pl. access may be smoothed
Obstacle course aims to ease social hurdle
Kentucky to do
Kentucky News Briefs