New York toughened its steroids policy for racehorses Tuesday, following the lead of the two other states that hold Triple Crown races. Certain steroids are also prohibited in Virginia.

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board said the new rules take effect Jan. 1 at all thoroughbred and standardbred tracks in the state. That includes Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown. The new rules set limits for steroids that are permitted.

“We have moved to eliminate anabolic steroid use from the horse racing industry in New York State,” said John Sabini, chairman of the racing and wagering board. “Steroids are no better for four-legged athletes than they are for two.”

Prompted by the death of the filly Eight Belles at the end of the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky and Maryland moved quickly to institute steroid restrictions. Trainer Rick Dutrow acknowledged using an anabolic steroid on Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown.

The issue of drugs in horse racing has come under increased scrutiny since the Triple Crown races, and several other racing authorities have responded by instituting new policies. Horses competing in the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., on Oct. 24-25 will be tested for drugs, including steroids.

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)