01/31/2013 4:29PM

New York board formally passes emergency medication rules

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The New York State Racing and Wagering Board at its final meeting on Thursday officially adopted several rules it had passed on an emergency basis last year, including a rule prohibiting the administration of the popular bronchial dilator clenbuterol within 14 days of a race.

The board considered 24 items during the meeting, in an attempt to clear the slate for the New York State Gaming Commission, a new regulatory agency that comes into legal existence on Friday. The racing and wagering board’s functions will now be carried out by the new agency, along with all other gambling regulation in the state.

The board officially adopted three rules on Thursday that had already been in force in the state for as long as eight months under emergency rule-making procedures. The rules included granting trainers and owners the ability to void claims for any horse that dies during a race or is vanned off the track, plus new withdrawal times for several corticosteroids and clenbuterol.

The clenbuterol rule is part of a national push by several racing organizations to get racing commissions across the U.S. to adopt a 14-day limit for the drug. The organizations are pushing the 14-day limit because of concerns that horsemen are administering the drug on a regular basis to exploit its muscle-building properties. Many states prohibit the drug within 4 to 7 days before a race.

The board also adopted a proposed rule allowing for the testing of anabolic steroids in blood plasma, rather than urine. A board official called testing in blood plasma “more reliable” than testing in urine.