01/23/2013 4:47PM

Proposal seeks to ban Lasix in New York

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A New York State Senator has pre-filed a bill to the Racing, Wagering, and Gaming Committee seeking a ban on the raceday use of the anti-bleeding medication furosemide, commonly known by the brand name Lasix, and any other “performance-enhancing” drugs.

Sen. Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat who represents a district encompassing the west-side waterfront of Manhattan, referred the bill to the committee on Jan. 9, according to legislative records. The bill would “prohibit the use of a performance enhancing drug, including [furosemide], on horses that participate in horse racing” in New York, and provides for a minimum of a 180-day suspension for a first violation of the policy. A third violation would result in license revocation.

New York horsemen have staunchly opposed any efforts to prohibit the use of furosemide on raceday, and previous efforts to outlaw the practice have failed to find traction in New York’s legislature. However, over the past year, critics have attacked racing over its medication and safety policies, including in New York, where 21 horses died during Aqueduct’s 2011-12 meeting.

The bill is not specific on what would constitute a performance-enhancing drug, leading to uncertainty over how the statute could be interpreted if enacted.

russell More than 1 year ago
There was a time not that long ago when NYRA didn't allow race day Lasix and the impact was minimal. Very few horses actually bleed w/o race day Lasix. NYRA has accomodated trainers and owners with meds for the last 20 years and it hasn't improved the sport. Maybe a change is needed.
Layton Register More than 1 year ago
Grant it, politicians leave a lot to be said for, but it's far more than what can be said about those trying to lead others to believe that is right for horses to race on medication. If the objective is to dope horses on race day and thereby trash the sport of racing, then it's unfortunate government is trying to intervene.
Pom De Terre More than 1 year ago
keep the damn politicians behind their closed doors in albany. they have no business on the track or dealing with the track.
BigSkyEquine More than 1 year ago
Where Lasix is not allowed, there are 4X fewer breakdowns. It is poor form to inject racehorses with drugs shortly before they race. Racing and other sports are designed to be drug-free to even the field and pursue natural ability, rather than drug enhanced ability. Drugs have helped no sport, and certainly the drug culture Lasix engenders has created a myriad of problems in horseracing. Other racing jurisdictions throughout the world have clearly demonstrated that prohibiting Lasix increases horse and jockey safety and this is the direction the sport should head. Senator Espaillat is responding to the public's requests to clean up the sport, and should be supported and commended for his efforts to restore integrity to horseracing in New York.
Angelika Hala Kerr More than 1 year ago
This is a step in the right direction and it would have national pull if implemented in one of the largest horse racing states in the US.
Jeff More than 1 year ago
I believe this to be another measure where politicians are jealous of NY's racing's establishment (NYRA) and how they are subsidized by the State of NY and the casinos. They know little (or next to nothing) about the proper care for these equine athletes and shouldn't step in with a vague notion that banning anti-bleeding medication (Lasix) will somehow positively impact the business. We will all certainly learn more when the Breeders Cup eliminates race day medications once and for all ages. This will be a gamblers worst nightmare. Mr Repole may end up running his own races in NY to compete against the BC and may very well get more support than originally thought.
rickyd196927 More than 1 year ago
What an Idiot, trying to screw with a great product.
Larry Kaufman More than 1 year ago
another idiot politician
Greg Jones More than 1 year ago
Another step in the right direction, but, sadly, Bill will not get far. Lasix should be banned, no brainer. More importantly, Clenbuterol should be banned more then any other drug, why more don't speak of this extremely dangerous drug and it's long term side effects is beyond me.
BigBear More than 1 year ago
Only a PC liberal democrat who doesn't know which end of the horse to feed the oats to would file an open ended bill like this.