07/13/2011 3:27PM

Medication group schedules meeting to discuss possible ban of race-day Lasix


The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has scheduled a meeting for Aug. 4 near Cincinnati that will include a discussion about recent proposals to prohibit the raceday use of Lasix and other drugs to treat bleeding in the lungs, the organization announced on Wednesday.

The meeting is a follow-up to a two-day conference held in June at Belmont Park to consider the raceday ban of the drug, which is legal to administer in the U.S. and Canada on raceday but prohibited in every other major racing jurisdiction. Though many powerful U.S. racing organizations, including the Jockey Club and Breeders’ Cup, have said they back the ban, many horsemen have pushed back against the effort.

At the Aug. 4 meeting, committees set up by the RMTC after the June conference to explore issues related to a ban will present the results of their work, the RMTC said. The four committees were asked to address possible penalty guidelines for Lasix positives; how to phase out the medication; enhancements to stable-area security and surveillance; and guidelines for the administration of all raceday medications.

The RMTC was a sponsor of the June conference, along with the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Following the conference, the RMTC was asked to head up the effort to continue dialogue about a ban because its board represents a cross-section of industry stakeholders, organizers said.