07/17/2007 11:00PM

Indiana to test for blood-doping drugs

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The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved rules on Wednesday that will allow the commission to test horses at any time for banned blood-doping drugs and that ban the use of front horseshoes with toe grabs higher than 4 millimeters.

Under the new testing rules, investigators for the commission will be able to take a blood sample from any horse that races and is stabled in Indiana, either at racetracks or private training facilities. The purpose of the rule is to allow investigators to test for blood-doping drugs like eythropoietin and darbepoietin, which are illegal to administer in racing. The drugs are notoriously difficult to detect in postrace blood tests.

In Indiana, the minimum penalty for a positive for a blood-doping drug is a 10-year suspension.

The ban on front toe grabs was approved as part of a recommendation from the Association of Racing Commissioners International, which issued a model rule earlier this year calling for the ban. Research that has been conducted since the early 2000s has indicated that the use of front toe grabs is highly correlated to racing injuries.