New Mexico Gets Tougher on Abusers of Clenbuterol

The drug is now classified as a Class 3 controlled substance in the state.

Edited press release

The bronchodilator Clenbuterol is now a Class 3 controlled substance in New Mexico.

The New Mexico Racing Commission announced on Thursday that the bronchodilator clenbuterol will now be classified as a Class 3 controlled substance in the state.

The move enables criminal prosecution of horsemen found to be illegally in possession of the drug. The NMRC worked with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy on the new classification, which was reached on Tuesday.

“There are still a small handful of horsemen out there who did not seem to get the memo that New Mexico has a permitted level of zero when it comes to clenbuterol,” said NMRC executive director Ismael “Izzy” Trejo in a press release.

According to the release, positive tests for clenbuterol in post-race samples have declined during the last two years in New Mexico. However, levels of about 30,000 picograms have been detected in some horses. In 2014, there were 71 positives for clenbuterol in post-race tests in New Mexico, a number that increased to 85 in 2015. But in 2016, there were 57 positives, and last year there were 51.

“Clenbuterol, when used indiscriminately, is a dangerous drug not only for the equine athlete but for the human athlete,” said NMRC commission Ken Corazza. “There have been several drug overdoses from clenbuterol in humans recently, and we felt maybe other jurisdictions will follow in trying to fulfill our duty to protect our horses from a drug that has long been abused by horsemen.

“As commissioners, we have to continue to effectively make the effort to protect the horse,” he added. “Without the horse, we have no racing industry.”

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.