LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is using his executive authority to implement regulations that would allow only government veterinarians to administer a race-day drug to horses and would lower allowable amounts of another medication given within days of races.
His action Thursday came days after the proposals appeared stymied because of objections from a group of state lawmakers.
Under one change, veterinarians employed by the Horse Racing Commission would be the only ones allowed to administer a drug to horses on days they are racing. The only race-drug that can be given to horses in Kentucky is furosemide, an anti-bleeding drug that’s marketed as Lasix and Salix.
The intent is to prevent horses from getting an unfair advantage in races by receiving performance-enhancement drugs.
Another change would be to set lower amounts of an anti-inflammatory drug that could be given to horses within days before they race.
These changes would apply only to races in Kentucky, such as at Churchill Downs in Louisville. States set their own rules for horse racing, but the debate over regulations governing drug use in the sport has recently reached Congress.