12/13/2011 11:50AM

RCI approves model Lasix rules


The Association of Racing Commissioners International has approved model rules that would limit raceday furosemide administrations to regulatory vets and prohibit the administration of any other medication on race day, the RCI said on Tuesday.

The approval by the Model Rules Committee at a Thursday meeting held in conjunction with the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing and Gaming in Tucson was widely expected. The two limitations are supported by nearly all constituencies in racing as part of an effort to re-examine the U.S. racing industry's policies on raceday medication.

With the approval, racing jurisdictions in the United States will be asked to adopt the rules as soon as next year. Most racing jurisdictions are expected to follow the RCI's recommendation.

Racing constituencies remain divided, however, on an effort to ban the raceday use of furosemide, an anti-bleeding medication commonly known as Lasix that is legal to administer in all North American racing jurisdictions and several South American countries but banned in all other major racing countries.

In a statement, the RCI said on Monday that it will continue to examine the affects of the proposed ban "at the request of several RCI member regulators."

Already, Breeders' Cup has adopted a policy that will ban the use of raceday furosemide in its races restricted to 2-year-olds next year. Also, the American Graded Stakes Committee has approved a rule allowing it to rescind the grade for any 2-year-old stakes held next year in which horses are allowed to be administered raceday furosemide.