Saturday, 2:15 PM
State Racing Commission bans performance drugs for horses
By Brian R. Ballou, Globe Staff
The State Racing Commission voted this morning to ban all performance-enhancing drugs for racehorses, following a model national policy that has been adopted by 15 other states.
"This is something aimed at protecting racehorses,'' said Alexandra Lightbown, the commission's chief veterinarian, moments after the body unanimously passed the ban. The meeting, held at the commission's headquarters, was open to the public, but there was no opposition to the measure.
Lightbown said steroid use is not widespread in horse racing in Massachusetts. She also said there is no definitive or conclusive evidence that steroids translate into better racing times on the track for horses.
"It's a perception issue that follows what has happened on the human side, and dealing with steroids in baseball and other sports,'' she said.
The ban goes into effect on Jan. 1. The penalties for violating the ban have not been finalized.
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