07/16/2003 12:00AM

Panel in drug-test accord


NEW YORK - The national group that is attempting to develop uniform medication standards for Thoroughbred racing has reached agreement on sections of a model policy and hopes to make the policy public by the first quarter of 2004, Scot Waterman, the group's executive director, said Wednesday.

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, which met on Tuesday in Dallas, reached agreement on sections of policy for the use and testing of Lasix and for testing of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Lasix, or furosemide, is a diuretic used to treat horses who bleed from the lungs when they exercise.

Waterman, reached by phone, declined to give details of the model policy, saying that the policy would first be sent to state regulatory bodies for review before the consortium would be able to establish a final rules model.

In a statement issued by the consortium, the group has targeted erythropoietin, the banned blood-enhancing drug, for elimination. One of the consortium's top priorities, the statement said, will be to commit research and develop model rules to combat the use of erythropoietin, also known as EPO, which is believed to enhance performance by stimulating the production of oxygen-bearing red blood cells.