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US Owners Support Drug Ban In Graded Stakes
The US Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association released an open letter it has sent to New York State Racing & Wagering Board chairman John Sabini in response to the NYSRWB's call for public comment on the race-day use of furosemide. The letter declares performance-enhancing drugs should not be allowed in graded stakes & emphasises: "It is the belief of the American Graded Stakes Committee & the trustees of TOBA that the integrity of the grades is compromised if horses are competing under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs. TOBA owes it to its members, of which 76% support a measured phase out of race-day medication, as well as to sales companies, prospective buyers & sellers, fans & international organizations that rely on these grades to ensure that they are a true representation of quality based solely on athletic ability." The letter notes Australian & South African studies questioning the effectiveness of furosemide & also questions whether horses racing on the medication merit black-type "in the eyes of the international racing community". The letter concludes: "These reforms are long overdue & will be a cornerstone to leading our sport to a brighter future."