08/25/2008 11:00PM

Louisiana adopts steroid limits

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The Louisiana State Racing Commission in a meeting Monday in New Orleans voted to adopt rules regulating the use of anabolic steroids in Louisiana racehorses.

The rules face a five-step bureaucratic and administrative process before they take effect sometime before Jan. 1. Should the process take longer, the racing commission would pass an emergency rule, said its executive director, Charles Gardiner.

The Louisiana rule would ban exogenous steroids that do not occur naturally in a horse, a category that includes the popular injectable stanozolol, commonly sold as Winstrol. Three naturally occurring, or endogenous, steroids - boldenone, nandrolone, and testosterone - would be permitted in "normal" levels, but could not be administered within 45 days of a race. What constitutes a "normal" level of the substances in horses, geldings, and mares is being determined by the Racing Medication Testing Consortium and the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Gardiner said work on establishing normal levels should be complete within 30 days.

Steroid positives would be a Class 3 medication violation, triggering a trainer suspension between 60 days and six months, a trainer fine of no more than $1,500, and redistribution of purse earnings.

Sean Alfortish, president of the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said the group he represents supported the rule proposed Monday. Last spring, Alfortish helped derail an emergency rule that would have covered a broad range of medication issues, including steroids.