06/22/2008 11:00PM

IEAH adopts policy on drug use


IEAH Stables, the part-owner of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown and several other high-profile horses, will put in place a policy this fall in which its horses will be administered medications in line with regulations in Europe - with the exception of the raceday diuretic furosemide - the co-president of the group, Michael Iavarone, said Monday.

Iavarone declined to give specific details of the policy other than to say that IEAH's horses would be in compliance by Oct. 1. The policy would prevent IEAH's trainers from administering anabolic steroids for racing or training, Iavarone said, though it would likely not prohibit the administration of other medications while in training, nor would it prohibit raceday injections of furosemide, the drug known as Lasix that is used ubiquitously in the United States to treat bleeding in the lungs.

"We haven't fully researched it," Iavarone said Monday, after the group put out a statement announcing the policy. "We're committed to the rules they have in Europe and Dubai. That's the standard everyone mentions."

In general, European regulations do not allow any medications to be administered on raceday. The policies in many European countries allow for concentration levels of certain drugs in post-race tests, so that horsemen can administer medications to horses while in training.

In contrast, every racing jurisdiction in the United States allows for the raceday administration of furosemide. In addition, several other jurisdictions allow for the raceday administration of so-called "adjunct bleeder medications" used in concert with furosemide, and several jurisdictions also allow for administration of phenylbutazone, a painkiller, within 48 hours of a race. As in Europe, U.S. racing states use concentration levels for dozens of commonly used drugs.

One of IEAH's horses, Benny the Bull, won the Group 1, $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen at Nad al Sheba Racecourse on March 29. Benny the Bull is currently the leading sprinter in the United States, and his season-ending target is the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Though the administration of anabolic steroids is currently unregulated in 27 of the 38 U.S. racing jurisdictions, most racing states are in the process of adopting a rule restricting anabolic-steroid use to four drugs, none of which can be used within 30 days of a race. Iavarone said that IEAH horses will no longer receive anabolic steroids under any circumstances.

Big Brown was linked with anabolic steroids during the Triple Crown when his trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr., acknowledged that the horse received a regular injection of nandrolone, which is marketed under the name Winstrol. Dutrow also said that all of his horses receive the monthly injection, though Big Brown skipped his regular injection on May 15, which was two days before his Preakness win.

Dutrow said Monday that Iavarone had discussed the new policy with him.

"He said it's all for raceday stuff and that's fine," Dutrow said. "I don't have any issues with that."

Dutrow declined to comment when asked whether Big Brown will continue to be administered anabolic steroids prior to the Oct. 1 deadline set by IEAH. Big Brown is next scheduled to run in the Aug. 3 Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

- additional reporting by David Grening