03/09/2006 1:00AM

Indiana tightens drug rules


The Indiana Horse Racing Commission adopted rules on Monday that will prohibit private veterinarians from having any contact with a horse on race day other than to administer a supervised injection of the diuretic Lasix.

The rules were part of 21 new regulations adopted by the commission to tighten enforcement of the state's existing raceday medication rules, according to Joe Gorajec, the executive director of the commission.

"It's evident to all regulators and those of us who are knowledgeable about the business that racing has a problem with raceday medications," Gorajec said. "I'm not just talking about Indiana. It's everywhere."

Under the new rules, a racetrack security guard will be required to escort any veterinarian administering Lasix, used to treat bleeding in the lungs, on race day.

In addition, racetracks will be required to employ three backstretch security guards at all times between 9 a.m. and the last race of the day.

In order to help racetracks pay for the measures, the commission changed the formula providing subsidies to the racing industry from the state's riverboat casinos in order to divert 2 percent of the money exclusively to racetracks.

The racetracks will also be required to pay for bet-processing monitoring systems provided by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Gorajec said.