05/11/2006 11:00PM

Kentucky forms new panels

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The Kentucky Equine Drug Council has formed six committees to explore how to improve security on backstretches and prevent the administration of illegal drugs to racehorses, according to council officials.

The committees, which were formed at a meeting on Thursday, were asked to submit reports to the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, Jim Gallagher, by June 1. The committees have been asked to develop policies on detention barns, surveillance cameras, Lasix administration, racetrack security plans, out-of-competition drug testing, barn and vehicle searches, the confiscation of syringes, and funding for any additional procedures that may be recommended.

"We need to explore the pros and cons of all these different things," Gallagher said on Friday.

Appointed to the committees were a mix of trainers, veterinarians, and regulatory officials.

The drug council recommends policies to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, which has the power to amend, approve, or reject any council recommendations. The effort to beef up security measures comes on the heels of a successful effort by the authority to revamp Kentucky's raceday medication rules. The new rules took effect this year.