08/18/2005 11:00PM

Kentucky governor signs new drug rules into law

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Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher on Friday signed into law the regulations that will dramatically overhaul race-day medication policy for horses in the state. The new regulations will take effect with the start of the Turfway Park fall meet on Sept. 7.

Under the new policies, the only allowable race-day medications will be Lasix, bleeder adjuncts, and one of three non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents.

For years, Kentucky has had perhaps the most liberal medication policies in North America. The new rules adhere closely to nationally standardized recommendations made by the Racing Medication and Testing Consor-tium.

Approved Monday on an emergency basis by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, the new set of rules will have to pass through normal legal channels in state government before becoming permanent law. During that time, horsemen's representatives have said they will do everything they can to express their opposition to the new policies, which they maintain are too strict.