07/09/2008 11:00PM

Kentucky drug council gets new chair

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Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed Dr. Jerry Yon, a Lexington gastroenterologist, as the chair of the Kentucky Equine Drug Council, an offshoot of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission that recommends policies on drugs and medications.

Yon will replace Connie Whitfield-Harriman, who was removed from the position last week when Beshear replaced six members of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission with new appointments. Under the commission's rules, the chair of the drug council must be a member of the racing commission.

Yon was recommended by the racing commission's chairman, Robert Beck Jr., after a meeting of the panel on Wednesday. Beck had said at the meeting that he wanted to forward recommendations to Beshear by the end of the week so that a chair would be in place for the drug council's next meeting on Wednesday.

The council is considering a rule that would allow for the use of four anabolic steroids as long as the drugs are administered 30 days outside of a race. All other anabolic steroids would be banned.

Kentucky is one of two dozen states that allow for the unregulated use of anabolic steroids. Yon has advocated the ban of steroids in racing.