05/09/2006 11:00PM

Oklahoma gets new drug rules

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New drug testing rules went into effect in Oklahoma on Tuesday after Gov. Brad Henry signed them into place under emergency status. The most notable is the "24-hour rule" whereby horses can be treated with therapeutic medications up to 24 hours before post time.

In the past, no medicinal treatment of horses, with the exception of Lasix and phenylbutazone, was allowed 48 hours before post time. The new policy is possible because blood serum and urine samples will be used together to give a more accurate read on a horse's system. It enables officials to determine if a prohibited substance, or a substance that exceeds new threshold levels, was given to a horse less than 24 hours before post.

"It allows us to test more accurately," said Constantin Rieger, executive director of the Oklahoma Racing Commission.

Also as part of the new policies, horses can be subject to prerace testing.