The adoption of new model rules on medication use in racehorses has led to a spike in positive tests in Indiana.

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) reported Dec. 18 a total of 47 rulings (24 in Thoroughbreds and 23 in Quarter Horses) for positive tests for prohibited substances or substances over threshold levels at the 2014 race meet at Indiana Grand, in Shelbyville. An additional 15 tests currently await adjudication, of which 11 are Thoroughbreds and four are Quarter Horses.

A number of factors contributed to the record positive count, said IHRC executive director Joe Gorajec.

The two most significant factors were the adoption of Association of Racing Commissioners International Model Medication Rules with regulatory threshold levels for a large number of therapeutic medications, and the primary testing lab’s delay in reporting positive test results.

Earlier this year, prior to the commencement of the Indiana Grand race meet, the commission adopted the model rules. The spike in Indiana mirrored what most other racing jurisdiction reported after adopting the new rules, Gorajec said.

"With the horsemen, both in Indiana and nationally, becoming acclimated to the new threshold levels and timely lab reports, I’d expect to see a substantial decline in positive tests in 2015," he said in a statement.

The commission staff is working with the Indiana Department of Administration (IDOA) to issue a new request for proposal (RFP) to identify a new lab for 2015. Commission staff, along with IDOA, will evaluate lab proposals. Pursuant to the state’s procurement process, the final selection will be