07/27/2008 11:00PM

Panel questions Dutrow ban

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The chairman of a congressional subcommittee has sent a letter to the chairman of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission requesting an explanation for the rationale behind the authority’s recent issuance of a 15-day suspension to the trainer Richard Dutrow.

The letter, sent by Bobby Rush – a Democrat from Illinois who is the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection – contends that “some have disputed the appropriateness” of the 15-day suspension issued to Dutrow after a horse he trains tested positive for prohibited levels of the bronchial dilator clenbuterol. The authority issued the suspension in late June, and Dutrow has appealed.

Citing Kentucky’s rules and a previous positive test for clenbuterol for a horse trained by Dutrow in 2004 in New York, the letter states that the guidelines for penalties for a second offense for clenbuterol is “suspension or revocation [of a racing license] from one to six months.” The letter asks the racing commission’s chairman, Robert Beck, to explain the factors that the commission used to determine the length of the penalty by Aug. 1.

The Rush subcommittee held a hearing on June 19 that focused principally on the racing industry’s medication policies.