HIWU issues advisory on permitted medications during routine timed workouts

By: Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit

Posted: July 17, 2023

The Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit reminds horsemen and veterinarians that covered horses are subject to testing at any time, including following routine timed workouts (post-work testing). Testing following workouts is not limited to vets’ list workouts.

Please note that post-work samples are not collected after all routine timed workouts. Trainers will be notified of selection, and sampling will be performed, within one hour of the completion of the workout.

The following substances are prohibited in post-work samples:

  • Banned Substances
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Local anesthetics
  • Analgesics
  • Intra-articular injections containing any substance are prohibited within 7 days of a routine workout, i.e., if the injection(s) is/are administered on Saturday, the horse cannot breeze until the following Saturday. A withdrawal interval of longer than 7 days may be necessary in consideration of factors such as the number of joints treated and dose of the administered corticosteroid, as well as the administration of corticosteroids by other routes (including, but not limited to oral, intramuscular, and topical).
  • The stacking of NSAIDS or corticosteroids is also prohibited.
  • The regulation of banned substances, NSAIDS, local anesthetics, and analgesics in post-work testing mirrors post-race testing.
  • For routine timed workouts, the following corticosteroids are regulated based on established screening limits in blood: Betamethasone, Dexamethasone, Isoflupredone, Triamcinolone, and Methylprednisolone.

All other controlled medications, including furosemide (Lasix), are permitted to be present in a post-work sample, regardless of the horse’s age or class.

Horsemen and their veterinarians are encouraged to consult the published detection times when considering treatments in advance of a routine timed workout.

More information about the differences in testing and procedures between routine timed workouts and vets’ list workouts can be found here. You may also contact Dr. Mary Scollay, HIWU Chief of Science, at (859) 489-7677 or mscollay@hiwu.org; and Dr. Patti Marquis, HIWU Director of Equine Medical Resources, at (816) 516-5641 or pmarquis@hiwu.org.

(Photo courtesy of Jim McCue)