08/22/2013 3:28PM

Massachusetts commission seeks public comment on proposed medication rules


The Massachusetts Racing Commission voted Thursday to approve the posting for public comment of a set of uniform medication rules and new penalty guidelines that have been endorsed by eight states, the commission announced.

The approval is the first step in the formal rule-making process under Massachusetts regulations. The rules will be posted for a 30-day public-comment period Sept. 6, the commission said.  A public hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 9 to discuss the response to the rules.

The medication rules allow for the therapeutic use of 24 medications, including the race-day use of the anti-bleeding medication furosemide, commonly referred to as Lasix. The new penalty guidelines are based on a points system in which trainers with multiple violations would have additional penalties applied to them once they reach certain point totals.

The states that have pledged to adopt the rules by Jan. 1 are all located along the Eastern seaboard. They include Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.