Steroids a priority for new horse racing commission

Regulators could vote to ban race-day ster­oids as early as August, according to Kentucky Horse Racing Commission chairman Bob Beck Jr.

Gov. Steve Beshear could implement a ban as an emergency regulation, but further action by state lawmakers would probably be needed to keep it in place for next year's Kentucky Derby.

This year's Derby winner, Big Brown, won while on Winstrol, according to his trainer, Rick Dutrow. Winstrol is the muscle and appetite builder allegedly used by baseball player Barry Bonds and sprinter Ben Johnson.

The drug is legal for use in racehorses in Kentucky and most other states. But in June, an industry safety committee recommended eliminating anabolic steroids.

Their use as racing performance enhancers was drawn into the spotlight with the on-track death of filly Eight Belles, who broke both front legs just after finishing second in the Derby and was euthanized. Her trainer, Larry Jones, requested testing by Kentucky authorities that proved she was not on steroids at the time of her death.

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