The New Mexico state Senate has passed proposed legislation that would require the New Mexico Racing Commission (NMRC) to establish rules for handling drug testing specimens according to Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) regulations.

Introduced by Senator Mary Kay Papen (D), SB 489 would require that the NMRC adopt rules for the handling of pre- and post-race, out-of-competition, and necropsy samples of blood, serum, plasma, urine, or specimens taken from horses racing in New Mexico.

Under the proposed legislation, samples would be divided in two equal parts. One part would be tested by the racing commission or its designated laboratory for unauthorized drugs, chemicals, stimulants, depressants, or other performance-altering substances as defined by ARCI. The commission would send the other portion to the scientific laboratory division of the state’s health department.

Also, under the proposed bill, “after a positive test result on the sample tested by the commission or its designated laboratory and upon a written request from the president, executive director, or manager of the New Mexico Horsemen’s Association on forms designated by the commission, the scientific laboratory division shall transmit the corresponding second sample to the New Mexico Horsemen’s Association."

On March 4, the state’s Senate passed SB489 by a 39-3 margin.

Papen said the measure is intended to ensure the integrity of New Mexico horse racing.

“Under this bill all ARCI protocols will be followed,” Papen said. “We want to make sure all horses racing in New Mexico are clean.