Archives for November 22, 2021

How new proposed rules would deter horse racing’s drug cheats

Trainer still furious about Maximum Security DQ in Kentucky Derby; Belmont Stakes next?Thoroughbred racing’s drug cheats would face stiffer sanctions, stronger deterrents and surprise testing if a set of proposed rules announced Thursday are adopted.

Negotiations between the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency have yet to yield a contract or put a price on streamlining the sport’s drug enforcement, but the rules released for public feedback anticipate a more vigorous, centralized and consistent model than the patchwork arrangement that currently exists among America’s 38 racing jurisdictions.

Positive tests involving prohibited substances would be subject to multiyear suspensions: two years for a first offense; up to four years in the event of aggravating circumstances or for a second violation within 10 years.

Therapeutic medications banned only on race day could trigger a 30-day suspension and up to a 2-year ban in the event of aggravating circumstances or a fourth violation within a five-year period.

Race-day violations would mean automatic disqualification for the horse.

These penalties are potentially more punitive than those currently imposed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. According to the KHRC’s guidelines, a first offense involving a Class C drug such as betamethasone calls for a suspension of no more than 10 days for the responsible trainer…