02/29/2016 3:57PM

New York bans use of anabolic steroid stanozolol

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The New York State Gaming Commission on Monday unanimously approved a rule banning the use of the anabolic steroid stanozolol, effective at the end of August, six months from the approval date.

The gaming commission had approved the rule for public comment last year. National racing groups have endorsed a recommendation for racing states to ban any anabolic steroid that is not naturally occurring, and adoption of the rule would align New York with that recommendation.

Because an administration of stanozolol can be detected months after administration, the commission approved the six-month delay to allow for the drug to clear any horse’s system prior to the regulation being enforced.

Under the previous regulation, stanozolol, which is marketed under the trade name Winstrol, could appear in post-race samples at trace levels, theoretically allowing for the administration of the drug as long as it was administered several months prior to a race. Veterinarians sometimes use stanozolol as a short-term stimulus for a horse’s appetite, but regular use of the drug results in powerful muscle-building effects.

“There is no valid reason to administer this substance to a healthy racehorse, and there are better alternatives that are permitted for horses that are sick and injured,” said an analysis of the rule prepared by the racing commission.

The racing industry moved swiftly to restrict anabolic steroid use in 2008 following an outcry over their unregulated use in racing, but regulation of naturally occurring steroids is tricky because they are present in low levels in most horses. Current regulations allow for the presence of those steroids at low levels, and the use of supplementary doses of those steroids is still allowed in horses in New York as long as the horse is on the vet’s list, which would prohibit a horse from racing until the high levels drop to natural levels.