The National Steeplechase Association’s Board of Directors voted unanimously on Friday to adopt the medication rules contained in the Mid Atlantic Uniform Medication Program.
The rules make the diuretic furosemide–whose veterinary trade name is Salix and is commonly known as Lasix–the only medication that can be administered on race day. Further, the medication can be administered only by a designated veterinarian.
The medication program was developed and championed by Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Chairman Alan Foreman, who also is the NSA’s general counsel. So far, 11 states have adopted the standards, including all pari-mutuel states in which steeplechase racing is conducted–New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky.
“The Mid Atlantic Uniform Medication Program represents a meaningful effort to standardize medication rules across the racing industry, and the National Steeplechase Association wholeheartedly supports that effort,” said NSA President Guy J. Torsilieri. “Our board’s approval of the uniform medication rules signals our commitment to best practices for the benefit of our horses, our horsemen, and the sport.”
The rules identify 24 controlled therapeutic substances, including furosemide, that can be administered to the horse. All other medications are prohibited. The rules contain recommended dosages, levels that will trigger positives, and suggested withdrawal times for the controlled therapeutic substances.
Foreman developed the guidelines in consultation with the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, which has conducted extensive research on racing medications and withdrawal periods over the last decade, and other racing organizations. The NSA’s Steeplechase Safety Task Force recommended approval of the uniform rules at its meeting on Thursday in Leesburg, Va.