10/20/2005 11:00PM

Drug panel to study timing

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The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium will fund a plan to establish guidelines for withdrawal times for commonly used therapeutic drugs, the consortium announced on Friday.

The guidelines will seek to establish scientifically valid recommendations for when trainers and veterinarians should stop administering certain therapeutic drugs to horses so as not to test positive on race day.

Several state horsemen's groups, notably the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, have complained recently that trainers and veterinarians need the guidelines to comply with new rules developed by the consortium that are being adopted in dozens of states.

"The problem is the recommended withdrawal times are not uniform from state to state, and some jurisdictions have no withdrawal guidelines at all," said Dr. Scot Waterman, the executive director of the testing consortium.

The recommendations will be developed by Dr. Rick Sams, the head of the testing laboratory at Ohio State University. That laboratory is used by Ohio and Kentucky for drug-testing.