Cross-posted from the Louisville Courier-Journal
Written by GARY A. HALL
Four hours before post time, nearly every thoroughbred about to race in the United States gets a shot of a diuretic best known by its human brand name, Lasix.
In the past three months, many of racing’s most influential organizations have come out in support of a ban on race-day use of the drug — known generically as furosemide — mirroring what countries outside of North America already do. The groundswell prompted a meeting scheduled for next week at Belmont Park where industry leaders from around the world will debate the issue.
The industry is far from united on the question of a ban. Most notably, the major U.S. owner-trainer group, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, opposes it.
But industry leaders will meet next week under the threat of federal legislation introduced in early May to ban race-day medication and provide stiffer penalties for abuse.
The fight over anti-bleeding medications is the “mother of all battles,” said Dan Metzger, president of the Lexington-based Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, which supports a race-day medication ban. Continue reading >>
Learn more about racehorse doping in “The Chemical Horse,” a Special Report by Jane Allin for the Int’l Fund for Horses.