02/24/2012 2:31PM

Clenbuterol clampdown in New Mexico


The New Mexico Racing Commission has has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for clenbuterol for 12 months as of April 20. A bronchial dialator, clenbuterol will still be allowed for training, but will have to be stopped being administered 30 days before a horse races at any of the state’s tracks.

“Our main goal is to make the playing field level, to look out for the best interests of the horse players,” said Vince Mares, executive director of the New Mexico Racing Commission.

Mares said the April 20 start date was set in order to give owners and trainers time to comply with the new policy.

The state’s former clenbuterol policy cited small, permitted levels of the drug. But the new policy calls for a horse’s system to be clear of clenbuterol. The penalty for a first offense, or positive, will be loss of purse, a fine of up to $1,500, and a suspension ranging from 60 days up to six months. It is a Class 3 medication violation.

Mares said Ruidoso Downs and SunRay Park requested a policy change on clenbuterol. Earlier this month, a rule took effect that enables the commission to “rebuke or suspend medication in the event there is possible abuse of that drug,” said Mares.