06/28/2006 11:00PM

Panel to issue steroid paper

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A national group seeking to reform medication rules in the United States will produce a position paper by the end of the year that will seek tighter regulation of the use of anabolic steroids, according to the group's executive director.

The United States is the only country in the world in which nearly all major racing jurisdictions allow the unlimited and unregulated use of anabolic steroids, which are used to build muscle mass and restore horses' appetites after strenuous exercise.

"Everyone agrees that we need tighter regulation," said Scott Waterman, executive director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, which met Tuesday in Dallas. "That's where we will be starting from."

The consortium has issued position papers on a variety of medication issues, and many of those papers have been reworked into model rules and adopted by racing commissions across the country.

Regulation of anabolic steroids is considered a difficult issue because the drugs have legitimate therapeutic purposes and are not considered "raceday" drugs, since anabolics confer their benefits over extended use, rather than in one day.