11/14/2005 1:00AM

Ky. drug-rule changes OK'd

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The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority unanimously approved changes to the state's controversial new medication rules at a meeting Monday at Keeneland Racecourse. Mainly, language was adopted that will allow the authority to enforce prohibitions on therapeutic substances on race day, though the authority has yet to adopt threshold levels for the substances. The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has criticized the authority for failing to establish the minimum levels at which tests are considered positive.

Connie Whitfield, the vice chairwoman of the authority and the chairwoman of the Kentucky Equine Drug Council, said that the threshold levels and recommendations on when horsemen should stop using drugs in order to avoid a positive - so-called "withdrawal guidelines" - were "a work in progress."

Kentucky's new drug rules prohibit the use of any medication on race day other than furosemide, a diuretic that is used to treat bleeding, and two of four "adjunct bleeder medications." The previous rule allowed the unregulated use of furosemide as well as several painkillers, adjunct bleeder medications, and corticosteroids.