BALTIMORE, Maryland (AFP) — US Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown has received regularly monthly treatments of Winstrol, an anabolic steroid banned in 10 states but not any where Triple Crown horse races are contested.
On Friday, the eve of Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown's attempt to win the second leg of the treble here at the Preakness, the New York Daily News reported that trainer Rick Dutrow administers the steroid to all his horses.
"I give all my horses Winstrol on the 15th of every month," Dutrow told the newspaper. "If (authorities) say I can't use it anymore, I won't."
Winstrol, also known as Stanozolol, is legal in 28 of 38 states with horse racing - including Kentucky, Maryland and New York, where the final race in the triple crown, the Belmont Stakes, will be contested next month.
But the steroid is among four allowed only for therapeutic use in the other 10 states with racing.
Racing Medication and Testing Consortium executive director Scot Waterman told the News that he expects other states to adopt the more limited rules on Winstrol before next year's Triple Crown races.
"We're pretty confident that all of the states will be done with the rule-making process by the end of the year," he said.
Waterman said that should one of Dutrow's horses have been injected Thursday and raced this weekend in one of the 10 states with therapeutic-only rules, it would likely test positive for a banned substance.
"He would probably have a positive," the physician said. "That type of use is what moved us to begin the process we began a couple years ago (of tightening rules on the steroid).
"There was evidence these products were being overused or abused." Big Brown is trying to become the first horse to sweep all three Triple Crown titles in the same year since Affirmed in 1978.
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