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New York Partial Ban On Oxygen Treatment

Thursday, 30th July 2009

The New York State Racing & Wagering Board announced horses will be "banned from being entered in races if they have received hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment within 1 week of post time". Hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers are used by some trainers "to accelerate healing in a horse that has been injured or has an infection" noted bloodhorse.com. NYSRWB chairman John Sabini declared bluntly: "If a horse needs hyperbaric oxygen therapy to get from the starting gate to the finish line, it shouldn't be in the race. Purified oxygen does not exist naturally in a horse. We are clarifying now that these types of treatments are in the same category we reserve for equine drugs. We are very concerned that, within a certain window, these treatments could give a horse an unfair advantage in a race while jeopardising the horse's health. Putting limits on when a racehorse can get hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a step in the direction of greater integrity. I am aware that some veterinarians promote the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Our rule does not prohibit racehorses from undergoing this therapy. We're just saying they can't have it within one week of a race."

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