Search Results
1 to 16 of 48
1 2 3 Next »

Lexington, KY - The revisions to its racing regulatory standards that were adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) at its meeting last month in New Orleans were formally posted today. Among them, sections pertaining to Medical Labeling were strengthened to ensure that improper medications are not being used in racing and to strengthen racing commission jurisdiction in this area. ARCI Chair Judy Wagner praised several racing industry organizations that provided invaluable input to assist the development of the final medical labeling version that was adopted. She noted specific contributions by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, the National HBPA, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians. The Model Rules of Racing were amended as follows: ARCI-004-105 Calculation Of Payouts And Distribution Of Pools ARCI-008-030 Jockey Suspensions and Designated Races ARCI-011-010 Treatment Restrictions ARCI-011-020 Medical Labeling ARCI-011-025 Trainer Responsibility ARCI-025-010 Treatment Restrictions ARCI-025-020 Medical Labeling ARCI-025-025 Trainer Responsibility The ARCI also expanded its Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule to include and set regulatory thresholds for the following four medications: Cimetidine, Ranitidine, Cetirizine and Guaifenesin. Additionally, regulatory thresholds for Xylazine and Omeprazole were modified based on new information and research not available when the schedule was initially adopted. The Xylazine and the Omeprazole thresholds were adjusted based upon studies conducted at the University of California at Davis, funded by the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, and coordinated through the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. The ARCI also amended the Uniform Classification Guidelines of (Prohibited) Foreign Substances, as follows: Methamphetamine: Added footnote language recommending Penalty B if testing can prove presence of only levo-methamphetamine is present in sample. Tramadol: Penalty recommendation changed from Penalty A to Penalty B. Cetirizine: Penalty recommendation changed from Penalty B to Penalty C after inclusion into ARCI Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule. Morphine: Footnote language added recommending Penalty A if intentional administration can be proven by regulators. Cocaine : Footnote language added recommending Penalty A if intentional administration can be proven by regulators. All ARCI regulatory standards are published on the association's website: Model Rules can also be accessed through the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) at: . ARCI Model Rules serve as a guide to jurisdictions in the making of racing regulatory policy. In some instances, portions of the ARCI Model Rules have the force of law by virtue of statutes or rules incorporating them "by reference". This means that when the ARCI adopts a rule, it automatically becomes the applicable policy in jurisdictions that have done that. Link to Version 6.2 of the ARCI Model Rules: Link to Versions 12.00 of the Uniform Classification Document: Link to Version 3.0 of the Controlled Therapeutic Schedule: by Ed Martin, for the ARCI

LEXINGTON, KY - The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) will hold the second in a series of “Town Hall” meetings at Gulfstream Park on Monday, February 22, 2016. The purpose of the meeting is to gather input and have a frank conversation with racing industry stakeholders, participants, and fans in an attempt to find common ground and workable solutions to the problems the industry faces. Individual regulatory agencies have often relied upon this approach to create policies in their jurisdictions.   The ARCI effort is the first time this approach will be done on a national basis in regions across the country.   Throughout the year, input is being sought from racetracks, breeders, horsemen, stakeholder entities, legislators and fans.   Those unable to participate in person will be able to provide input through an online survey currently being developed. The February 22 meeting will take place at 10:30 a.m. EST in the second floor “Sport of Kings Room” at Gulfstream Park, 901 S Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, Florida. Those interested in attending are requested to pre-register by visiting .   There is no charge to register. The first meeting took place at Santa Anita Racetrack on January 21, 2016.    ARCI President Ed Martin indicated that the discussion was “very productive” and was a working session that explored options to strengthen integrity efforts.   Participating in that meeting included representatives and members of the California Association of Racing Fans, the California Horse Racing Board, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the Stronach Group, the Thoroughbred Owners of California, and the Thoroughbred Trainers of California, amongst others. Results of the ARCI effort to gather input will be presented to a meeting of national racing industry leaders, regulators and stakeholder groups to be held in early December in Tucson, Arizona. Steve May

LEXINGTON, KY - The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) has put all racing regulatory agencies worldwide on notice of a finding by the New York Equine Drug Testing Program of the presence of AH-7921 in post-race samples taken from horses that recently ran at Belmont Park. This is the first time AH-7921 has been detected by a racing regulatory lab. The drug is one of the Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) that continue to emerge onto the designer drug market. Research has shown that AH-7921 can be as potent as morphine, yet its core molecular structures do not resemble morphine or fentanyl which have been detected in the past by racing regulatory labs. NPS drugs are believed to be compounded in order to avoid detection by human testing labs. There is no legitimate reason for AH-7921 to be present in a horse. The New York State Gaming Commission summarily suspended Thoroughbred owner/trainer Roy Sedlacek as a result of the finding. "Dr. George Maylin and his team should be commended for their persistent attention to emerging threats," ARCI Chairman Mark Lamberth said, noting that Dr. Maylin has consistently warned of the threat posed by designer drugs and peptides. "This is excellent work on the part of Dr. Maylin and the New York lab," he said. Another racing regulatory lab, Industrial Laboratories, was the first to detect the hepta-peptide Dermorphin in a race horse. Dermorphin is a natural opioid that binds as an agonist with high potency and selectivity to mu Opioid receptors. AH-7921 is a selective u-opioid receptor agonist with some effect on the K-receptor as well. Its use can be highly toxic. A copy of the New York State Gaming Commission ruling for Mr. Sedlacek can be found here: From the ARCI

LEXINGTON, KY - The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) has formally announced the members of the committee recently formed to work with individual commissions to complete the implementation of the ARCI medication reforms. The 12 members of the ARCI Compliance Committee, as it will be officially known, were invited by Chairman Mark Lamberth. Lamberth has assigned the committee members to three working teams, with each team reviewing the regulatory policies of a set of racing jurisdictions. The regulators assigned to those teams are as follows: Team Member Member Jurisdiction Team Assigned John T. Ward, Jr. Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Team A Jonathan Zachem Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering Team A Judy Wagner Louisiana State Racing Commission Team A Domenic DiCera Illinois Racing Board Team A Rick Baedeker California Horse Racing Board Team B Jeff Colliton Washington State Horse Racing Commission Team B Tom DiPasquale Minnesota Racing Commission Team B Dr. Corinne Sweeney Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission Team B Mike Hopkins Maryland Racing Commission Team C Duncan Patterson Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission Team C Robert Williams New York State Gaming Commission Team C Frank Zanzuccki New Jersey Racing Commission Team C The committee teams will begin by completing a thorough review of the medication policies in each United States jurisdiction, and then will work state-by-state to advance the ARCI medication reforms. The jurisdictions assigned to each team are as follows: Team A Team B Team C Arkansas Arizona Delaware Colorado California Iowa Florida Idaho Maine Illinois Minnesota Maryland Indiana Montana Massachusetts Kentucky Nevada Michigan Louisiana New Mexico Nebraska Ohio Oregon New Jersey Oklahoma Pennsylvania New York Texas Washington North Dakota Wyoming   South Dakota     Virginia     West Virginia Lamberth stated that the committee will begin work this week, and three teams will meet on a regular basis. The committee work report to the ARCI Board of Directors during their meeting in December. Steve May

LEXINGTON, KY - The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) announced today that a new committee will be formed to work with individual commissions to complete the implementation of the ARCI medication reforms. The reforms are embodied in the Model Rules, the association's recommended best regulatory practices and policies. Mark Lamberth, who also serves as a commissioner on the Arkansas State Racing Commission, made the announcement following a Monday conference call with racing regulators. The regulators asked to participate will be named in the near future. The goal of the committee is to complete implementation of medication reforms that were developed by ARCI members and staff working with the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC). The committee will identify the jurisdictions that have yet to adopt portions of the reforms and develop strategies to work with the individual commission to advance the reforms. "Racing regulators working together with the racing industry have made tremendous strides over the past few years in some of the biggest racing states to implement sound, uniform medication policies in areas such as therapeutic medication use, laboratory testing standards and accreditation, and increased penalties for repeat offenders. There are some jurisdictions that have not implemented all of these reforms, and the goal of the committee is to aid those jurisdictions in the implementation process," said Lamberth. Lamberth said that all racing regulators were uniform in prohibiting performance enhancing drugs, and the ARCI is committed to resolving relatively minor differences in regulations pertaining to testing thresholds for some therapeutic medications. "Full adoption of the ARCI Model Rules, which have been thoughtfully and carefully developed in conjunction with the RMTC, would accomplish that," he said. Lamberth also said that a model Request for Proposals for laboratory services was an important reform and predicted that racing commissions will rely upon it as laboratory contracts expire and future procurements are implemented. "We know that the racing industry is in a much better position today than it was just five years ago when it comes to medication policy, and the regulators on this committee want to continue that progress for the good of racing," added Lamberth. Lamberth said that the committee will begin work immediately and report to the ARCI Board of Directors in December. by Steve May, for the ARCI

The entire Arkansas horse racing industry joined the Arkansas Racing Commission today as it voted to formally oppose federal intervention and pending legislation in Washington that would shift equine welfare and anti-doping efforts to a private entity with no experience with horses. Arkansas Racing Commission Chairman Cecil Alexander announced that the commission was “unanimous” in today’s vote to oppose efforts to pass federal legislation to shift state regulatory responsibility to the control of the private and non-accountable US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in order to reverse a long standing equine welfare policy. At today’s Commission meeting the following organizations representing the entire racing industry in Arkansas indicated opposition to the federal legislative attempts:  Oaklawn Park, the Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders and Horseman’s Association, and the Arkansas Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.  Mark Lamberth, a Member of the Commission and current Chair of the Association of Racing Commissioners International said the federal legislative initiative was a “departure from cooperative efforts that have historically been productive”.   Lamberth said that if the USADA was interested in helping Arkansas racing, they should accept the ARCI’s invitation for collaboration instead of pursuing a “hostile takeover”. The ARCI has noted that the pending Barr/Tonko bill would necessitate a new tax on the racing industry to pay for USADA involvement and grant the Colorado based organization tremendous control over Arkansas racing.   “These bills give a private organization in Colorado Springs the unchecked authority to effectively shut down the Arkansas racing industry if we don’t pay their bill or adhere to their edicts.   Local communities and local voices are shut out and this is just plain wrong,” he said. The ARCI has noted that the USADA drug testing program is 1/37 the size of the program operated by US State racing commissions.   The percentage of drug rule violations detected is roughly the same in the USADA program as it is in the current program conducted by the states. “Racing commissions are uniform in not allowing performance enhancing substances in horses when they race,” Lamberth noted.   “On the advice of the veterinary medical community, for the past thirty years a raceday administration of a medication proven to be helpful to the horse to mitigate or prevent airwave lesions and exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage is allowed.   As its use is ubiquitous and disclosed to the public, no horse is given an advantage when it races and any attempt to characterize this as anything other than putting the horse first is just plain wrong.” Lamberth questioned USADA developed anti-doping policies deployed in human sport that permit athletes to compete under the influence of substances that would never be tolerated if found in a post race sample taken from a horse following a race. Under the World Anti-Doping Code, athletes may request a “therapeutic use exemption” to train and compete with a performance enhancing drug.   According to the USADA 2014 Annual Report, about 85% of applications fully processed are approved. “Anyone who’s concerned about drugs in racing should have a real problem with the fact that USADA thinks it OK not to tell the public which athletes are using drugs when they compete.  They don’t even tell you the events involved,” he said. Lamberth said that both the ARCI and the Arkansas Racing Commission are interested in “working with anyone who wants to help us do what we do”.   He noted that the federal legislative effort might be better focused on targeting a portion of the $9 million federal appropriation to combat doping in professional sport in order to support efforts in horse racing.   “I find it amazing that neither bill that has been proposed actually provides any assistance to help us,” he concluded. Ed Martin

Lexington, KY --- Racing’s anti-doping rules will continue to withstand legal challenge, according to conclusions reached at a meeting of regulatory attorneys convened by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. “A widely reported decision in Delaware not to pursue a prosecution in a singular case had mitigating factors that were unique. This has been thoroughly reviewed as have been the standards required for a successful prosecution and we are confident that the rules will continue to withstand any future challenge,” said Mark Lamberth, chairman of the ARCI and a member of the Arkansas Racing Commission. Following press coverage intimating that rules based upon the recommendations of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium as embodied in the ARCI Model Rules might be vulnerable to legal attack, the meeting was convened to conduct a vulnerability assessment. “I am not aware of any successful challenge to a drug prosecution based on science. People will try and spend a lot money doing so, but in the end, the courts have upheld racing commission actions,” said Ed Martin, the ARCI’s President, noting that the attorneys identified no vulnerability in current rules. (Note: A recent court decision in Kentucky overturning an action by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission was based on mitigating circumstance relating to the justification of the penalty stemming from Kentucky’s classification definition of the medication Levamisole, not on the science or capacity of the laboratory behind its detection.) Lamberth has asked the RMTC to make as much information as possible available to help the public and industry understand that regulatory policies are based on a solid review and assessment of the science, literature and opinions of recognized experts. Earlier this year, the ARCI convened its own scientific advisory group to assess issues independently from the RMTC. “It’s important for people to have confidence in the process and regulators have a responsibility to consider all views and assessments,” Lamberth said. “Scientific recommendations are based on what it is that we know today. As additional research work is done and completed, we always reserve the right to change policy based on new information. Absent that, those who must defend racing commission actions in court have an extremely high degree of confidence in the integrity of the current system.” by Steve May, Racing Commissioners International 

LEXINGTON, KY - The President of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) today predicted that the currently unregulated horse breeding industry will ultimately be folded into any federal racing legislation that advances in Washington. "I fully anticipate that as current proposals advance in the legislative process, Members of Congress will heed comments made by a key supporter of federal intervention about the practices of Thoroughbred breeders that may be contributing to an inappropriate reliance on drugs," Ed Martin said. Prior to becoming involved with racing regulatory matters, Martin served as a senior aide on Capitol Hill for almost a decade. The President of the Humane Society of the United States and a member of The Jockey Club's coalition, Wayne Pacelle, wrote in a July 20, 2015 column published on the animal welfare website the following: "Doping horses for racing is more dangerous today than ever because breeding practices - which select for speed and champagne-glass legs - make the horses less sturdy and more vulnerable to breakdowns than they were even 10 or 20 years ago." The Thoroughbred breeding industry and related sales companies are not currently regulated by the states, creating a void that Martin predicted Congress would fill given the universal concern about Thoroughbred racing breakdowns. Martin noted that state racing commission medication reforms already implemented are starting to reduce catastrophic injuries in some jurisdictions as reported by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear at The Jockey Club's Roundtable conference this past weekend. He predicted that unregulated sales company medication policies that permit the stacking of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids to be used on horses going through the auction ring could be considered permissive. "I predict that Members of Congress will want to know why drugs need to be given to horses that have never raced and have not been injured," he said. The ARCI President said that if a state were to expand the jurisdiction of an ARCI member commission to regulate the breeding industry and sales companies, the association would begin working on Model Rules to assist that agency in meeting the legislative mandate. To date, that has not happened. Steve May

The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) is in the process of analyzing the full impact of the Barr/Tonko proposal announced today. In response to media requests for an immediate reaction, ARCI President Ed Martin issued the following statement: "The ARCI is unanimous in its opposition to shielding racing regulatory authority from public accountability by putting it in the hands of a private organization. "We also note that the proposal provides absolutely no federal resources and not one cent of existing federal anti-doping monies to assist in chasing those who would dope horses. "We find it ironic that many of the featured speakers at The Jockey Club's recent Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit who have been instrumental in the development and implementation of regulatory policy - racing commission experts like Dr. Mary Scollay, Dr. Rick Arthur, and Dr. Scott Palmer - would all be shut out or severely diminished under this proposal. "Equine welfare and medication policy should not be put in the hands of an entity with no experience with such matters and no veterinarian involvement. We strongly oppose the politicization of racing medication policies and are concerned that equine welfare policies will be trampled should this be enacted." ARCI

TAMPA, FL - The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) is pleased to announce that noted spinal cord injury researcher W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D. and racing regulator Tom Sage were the recipients of the organization's top awards that were bestowed at the 81st Annual RCI Conference on Racing and Wagering Integrity, held last week at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Dietrich was named the winner of the 2015 William H. May Award, which is given annually to an individual or group that has provided "meritorious service" to the racing industry, to honor his work with The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The program is dedicated to developing and testing new treatments for people living with paralysis, and has worked very closely with several Thoroughbred racing jockeys who have suffered catastrophic spinal cord injuries while competing. Among those jockeys include Michael Straight, Rene Douglas, Gary Donahue, and exercise rider and assistant trainer Robin Cleary, who since her injury has raised over $1 million for The Miami Project. "The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis was established in 1985 to promote a new type of research today called regenerative medicine. Currently, over 200 dedicated individuals are helping to obtain the knowledge required to achieve the goals of the mission. We thank our supporters for helping us move our programs across the finish line," said Dr. Dietrich, who was unable to attend the ceremony. Receiving the award in his place was Terry Meyocks, National Manager for The Jockeys' Guild. The 2015 Len Foote Award was given to Tom Sage, Executive Director of the Nebraska State Racing Commission. The award is named in honor of the late Len Foote, longtime Executive Director of the California Horse Racing Board, and is considered the highest distinction for racing officials in North America. The award was presented by John F. Wayne, the Executive Director of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, who spoke highly of the work that Sage has done over the years with RCI as well as the Organization of Racing Investigators (ORI). In Sage's remarks, he noted that while he is considered one of the younger Executive Directors to be named the Len Foote Award recipient, he is very proud of the work that he has done in Nebraska as well as nationally through RCI and the ORI. RCI President Ed Martin also issued Certificates of Exemplary Service to Charles Gardiner, Executive Director of the Louisiana State Racing Commission, to Ralph "Chip" Kemnitz, Chairman of the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, and to the late Kirk Breed, Executive Director of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB). Accepting on behalf of Breed's family was current CHRB Executive Director Rick Baedeker. LEN FOOTE AWARD RECEPIENTS   1991 Bill Linton, Arizona   1992 Bruce Garland, New Jersey   1993 Gordon Hare, Oklahoma   1994 Larry Eliason, South Dakota   Dennis Oelschlager, Nebraska   1995 Ken Kirchner, Pennsylvania   1996 Frank Lamb, Wyoming   1997 Steve Barham, Oregon   1998 Frank Zanzuccki, New Jersey   1999 Joe Gorajec, Indiana   2000 Roy Wood, California   2001 Bruce Batson, Washington   2002 Cliff Nelson, Ohio   2003 John Wayne, Delaware   2004 Charles Gardiner III, Louisiana   2005 Paul M. Kelley, New Hampshire   2006 Stan Bowker, Virginia   2007 Dan Hartman, Colorado   2008 Ben Nolt, Pennsylvania   2009 Lisa E. Underwood, Kentucky   2010 Charla Ann King, Texas   2011 Dick Krueger, Minnesota   2012 Constantin Rieger, Oklahoma   2013 Hugh Gallagher, Delaware   2014 Marc Laino, Illinois   2015 Tom Sage, Nebraska   WILLIAM H. MAY AWARD   1986 Robert P. Strub, Santa Anita   1987 Breeders’ Cup Ltd.   1988 Daily Racing Form   1989 Stanley F. Bergstein, HTA   1990 James P. Ryan, Ryan Foundation   1991 The Jockey Club   1992 William Shoemaker, Jockey   1993 Tony Chamblin, RCI   1994 Joe Hirsch, Racing Columnist   1995 Paul Mellon, Philanthropist   1996 Allen Paulson, Owner and Breeder   1997 James E. Bassett III, Keeneland   1998 Fred Noe, USTA   1999 Bob and Beverly Lewis, Horse    2006 Curtis Barrett, University of Louisville   2007 American Greyhound Council   2008 University of Arizona, Race Track Industry Program   2009 Richard Duchossois, Arlington Park   2010 Paul J. Bowlinger, Former RCI Employee   2011 Team Zenyatta   2012 John and Barbara Smicklas   2013 Steve Barham   2014 Jim Gowan   2015 W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.    2000 R.D. Hubbard, Track, Horse Owner   2001 John R. Gaines, Horse Owners, Breeders’ Cup   2002 American Quarter Horse Association   2003 American Association of Equine Practitioners    2004 Racetrack Chaplaincy Program   2005 Lonny T. Powell, Past RCI President and CEO   Steve May Vice President and Business Manager Association of Racing Commissioners International

TAMPA, FL - With the recent elevation of Mark Lamberth, commissioner from the Arkansas Racing Commission, as its 2015 Chairman, the Association of Racing Commissioners International tapped Louisiana commissioner Judy Wagner to serve as Secretary/Chairperson-Elect and Washington State Racing Commission member Jeff Colliton as Treasurer. Lamberth, a Thoroughbred owner, was appointed to the Arkansas Racing Commission in 2011 after previously serving on the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. The elections were part of the 81st Annual RCI Conference on Racing and Wagering Integrity, held last week at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. The regulators also added Bill Phillips (West Virginia Racing Commission), Tom DiPasquale (Minnesota Racing Commission), Steve Suttie (Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency), John Wayne (Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission) and David Loregnard (Trinidad and Tobago Racing Authority) to the RCI Board of Directors. The RCI Board also includes Rick Baedeker (California Horse Racing Board), Rob Williams New York State Gaming Commission, Frank Zanzuccki (New Jersey Racing Commission), Dr. Corrine Sweeney (Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission), Jonathan Zachem (Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering), and Steve Lehman (Ontario Racing Commission). Re-elected Board members include Eddie Menton (Mobile County Racing Commission), Tom Sage (Nebraska State Racing Commission), Charles Gardiner (Louisiana State Racing Commission), Larry Eliason (South Dakota Commission on Gaming), Constantin Rieger (Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission), and Mike Hopkins (Maryland Racing Commission). RCI President Ed Martin said the RCI Board "reflects an expertise applicable to every aspect of racing and the group is blessed to have the commitment of so many talented professionals who strive to do right by our horses, greyhounds, and the sports they regulate." Horseplayers and fans will have an important advocate in Judy Wagner. In addition to serving as the Louisiana State Racing Commission, Wagner is also the Horseplayers Representative on the NTRA Board of Directors. RCI Board Members serve one year terms, with the exception of the Secretary/Chairperson-Elect, who will automatically be elevated to Chairperson of the association at the 2016 RCI Annual Meeting. Steve May Vice President and Business Manager

Tampa, FL - The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) is formally notifying regulators and their testing labs of a new policy that would make it illegal to administer cobalt to a race horse. The RCI Board of Directors last week voted to sanction trainers of horses that were found to have a cobalt level of 50 parts per billion (ppb) or greater of blood plasma or serum with a "B" penalty, which calls for a minimum 15-day suspension, a minimum $500 fine, and 4 points on the trainers Multiple Medication Violation record. Owners of horses that raced would also face a loss of any purse money earned and the horse would be excluded from competition until a retest at the owner's expense proves levels have dropped to below 25 ppb in plasma/serum. The 50 ppb was based upon the unanimous recommendation of the RCI Scientific Advisory Group which met on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 to review a proposal from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium that was submitted on April 10, 2015. The RCI Drug Testing Standards and Practices (DTSP) Committee unanimously affirmed that recommendation on April 23, 2015 and it was adopted that same day by the association's Board of Directors. The RCI Board also adopted a policy that would exclude horses from competition that were found to have a cobalt level of greater than or equal to 25 ppb but below 50 ppb of blood plasma or serum. Those horses would be placed on the Veterinarian's List and not be allowed to return to competition until a subsequent test proves that high cobalt levels have dropped below 25 ppb. Subsequent tests would be conducted at the owner's expense. The RCI Board of Directors opted to defer action pending further review and comment on an additional recommendation to impose a ten year suspension on trainers of any horse found to have over 300 parts per billion of cobalt in blood plasma or serum. That recommendation was supported by a majority of the DTSP Committee and five of six members of the RCI Scientific Advisory Group. RCI policies are embodied in the ARCI Model Rules and the Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances, which serve as a regulatory policy guide for commissions. In some instances, both documents can have the force of law if a jurisdiction or regulatory agency has enacted a policy to incorporate them by reference. The RCI Board expressed appreciation for the work of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium as well as the following members of the RCI Scientific Advisory Group: Dr. Adam Chambers, Dr. Kenneth McKeever, Dr. George Maylin, Dr. Mary Robinson, Dr. Scott Stanley, and Dr. Thomas Tobin. Steve May Vice President and Business Manager Association of Racing Commissioners International

Racing industry officials in late March and early April said they again expect to see federal legislation filed this year that would authorize the United States Anti-Doping Agency to oversee equine medication and drug testing procedures. Last summer The Jockey Club at its Round Table conference indicated it would advocate for federal involvement in addition to current state-by-state efforts to adopt the National Uniform Medication Program. Also last August Travis Tygart, chief executive officer and counsel for USADA, outlined a strategy at a briefing put together by the Water Hay Oats Alliance. WHOA, which has a growing membership of Thoroughbred stakeholders, in its mission statement supports passage of a federal bill that would "prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of horse racing" via an independent anti-doping program run by USADA. During the Racing Officials Accreditation Program conference in late March, industry officials said there will be a heightened push in 2015 for federal legislation that would be similar to a bill introduced in 2013. Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, suggested the legislation would identify USADA to oversee the program. "RCI does not have a position on any piece of legislation," Martin said at the ROAP conference. "It does believe in using a compact that lets states maintain their authority. We can spend a lot of time and money playing musical chairs to address the issue. Organizations are spending money on lobbyists that can be used for equine welfare or funding the TRPB to hire investigators. That's the problem we have to address, not the rearranging of the chairs." Details on the 2015 strategy aren't yet known, though Jim Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club, indicated April 2 the organization is maintaining the course it outlined last year. "The Jockey Club continues to closely monitor the progress of the National Uniform Medication Program and, at the same time, consider strategies to broaden our advocacy for improved and uniform regulation for Thoroughbred racing," Gagliano said. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association also predicted lawmakers will be solicited to sponsor federal legislation on medication regulation and testing. The organization, as it has in the past, won't take a position on the issue. "The NTRA has taken no position on these bills as our membership remains divided on the issue of federal or central authority over testing for banned substances and the regulation of therapeutic medications," NTRA president and CEO Alex Waldrop said. "However, the association continues to provide information and data to interested parties and remains committed to achieving consensus on this issue." The NTRA on its board has representatives of horsemen's groups and racetracks, some of which oppose federal involvement. Others on the NTRA board, such as The Jockey Club, believe more must be done regarding medication and drug testing.  Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association chairman Alan Foreman, who also spoke at the ROAP conference, said whether there is federal oversight or not, the research and scientific advice will have to come from the horseracing industry because USADA hasn't done equine drug testing. He also cited progress on adoption of all or parts of the National Uniform Medication Program. "You'll hear the only answer is for the federal government to regulate horse racing," Foreman said. "If (supporters) a year ago got behind a uniform message that racing has a better story to tell than any other sport, I guarantee you the public's impression of the sport would be different at this time." The National Uniform Medication Program allows for the use of race-day furosemide, also called Salix or Lasix. The proposed Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act of 2013 called for a ban on all medication within 24 hours of a race, with a two-year exception for furosemide. Whether the same language is included in the 2015 version of the bill remains to be seen. Foreman indicated he believes it will be part of the bill. "Lasix is going to be like gun control or abortion," he said. "It's going to divide this industry." Tygart last year made a point to note the issue is about federal legislation, not federal regulation or intervention. If USADA was authorized to handle equine drug testing and enforcement, the organization would have to develop rules, with industry input, that would be unique to horse racing, he said. USADA isn't a federal agency, though it does receive federal grant money. Tygart also said there is an inherent conflict of interest when a sport promotes and polices itself, and suggested horse racing falls into that category under its current structure. Martin of RCI, meanwhile, has repeatedly stated that state regulators are independent by virtue of their responsibilities. Written by Tom LaMarra Reprinted with the permission of Read more on 

COLUMBUS, Ohio - In remarks made before the Board of Directors of the United States Trotting Association this past weekend, Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) President Ed Martin indicated that he expected regulators would set a uniform approach on cobalt when they meet in Tampa, Florida, at meetings held April 21-23, 2015. Martin predicted that the regulators would act to set in motion a ban on intentional cobalt administrations out of equine welfare concerns and the possibility of performance enhancement. Horses found with elevated cobalt levels would be excluded from competition until such levels subsided. Trainers of horses with cobalt levels indicative of an intentional administration would face sanctions and suspension. "Regulatory veterinary staff in several jurisdictions have received complaints and/or observed instances where a cobalt administration has caused distress and colic in horses, causing cramps and muscle twitching, sweating, and pain," said Martin. "We are obviously concerned about the use of cobalt with the belief that it will enhance performance. But while the published science is not fully settled at what point that actually happens, we believe it is wrong to deliberately put a horse in discomfort absent a compelling medical reason to treat a serious ailment or injury. This issue is about the horse and not just about doping," he said. The RCI Executive Committee met last week and was unanimous in its desire that a uniform approach be adopted to prohibit cobalt administration in a way that does not impact those who have not deliberately administered it. RCI's Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee will meet on Thursday morning, April 23, 2015 to consider options on cobalt regulatory thresholds. Recommendations from RCI science advisors as well as other organizations such as the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) will be considered. In addition, Dr. Terrance S.M. Wan, the head of the Racing Laboratory and Chief Racing Chemist for the Hong Kong Jockey Cub, will be participating in the RCI meetings. Dr. Wan is the author, along with others, of a 2014 study entitled "Controlling the Misuse of Cobalt in Horses". The Association of Racing Commissioners International is the only umbrella organization of official rule making entities dealing with the totality of all professional horse racing. The ARCI sets standards for racing regulation, medication policy, drug testing labs, tote systems, racetrack operation and security, and off-track wagering entities. Its members are the only independent entities recognized to license, enforce, and adjudicate matters pertaining to racing. Steve May  

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) has modified its Model Wagering Rules to permit the carryover of Pentafecta pools to other tracks operated by a licensed racing association for which they are the pool host. The ARCI also clarified provisions pertaining to such wagering and articulated that refunds should be issued when betting interests drop below five. The changes were made at the request of the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency and the racetracks of Canada and effectively modify sections ARCI-004-105 and ARCI-004-024 of the ARCI Model Rules. Adoption of wagering rules by the ARCI has the immediate effect of regulation in Canada. Some U.S. jurisdictions have also opted to adopt ARCI Model Rules and standards by reference. The association has also voted to make minor, non-substantive changes to its model rules pertaining to prohibitions affecting the "stacking" of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), specifically placing an upper limit to the threshold range constituting a Class 3 NSAID Stacking Violation as noted in ARCI-011-020 and ARCI-025-020. The group also reaffirmed its earlier actions recommending Penalty Class C sanctions for medication violations involving Firocoxib by making appropriate adjustments to ARCI's Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances. The ARCI is the only umbrella organization of the officially sanctioned governing rulemaking bodies for professional horse and greyhound racing in North America and parts of the Caribbean. The ARCI sets standards for racing regulation, medication policy, drug testing laboratories, totalizator systems, racetrack operation and security, and off-track wagering entities. ARCI members are the only independent entitles recognized to license, enforce, and adjudicate matters pertaining to racing. by Steve May, for ARCI

Lexington, KY ---- In an effort to strengthen rules to combat the use of illegally compounded medications in racing, regulators are taking steps to ensure that commissions have adequate authority to sanction licensees who violate existing federal restrictions limiting the use of such substances. “Commission investigators are finding that some are seeking to circumvent existing doping rules by using new drugs created by combining multiple substances in a compound,” Association of Racing Commissioners International President Ed Martin said. “Existing federal rules requiring that compounded medications be dispensed only by veterinary prescription to address a specific medical need of an individual horse are being ignored by some. It is a problem that those doing this believe they won’t get caught by the feds. Racing commissions are taking steps to ensure that they can confiscate the substances and bring action against those who use or distribute these illegal compounds.” The ARCI has given approval to a Model Rules policy that would: Outlaw the possession or use of a drug, substance, or medication not specifically approved by an appropriate federal agency absent permission of the Commission or its designee. Ban the possession, use, or distribution of a compounded medication on track property if there is a United States Food and Drug Administration-approved equivalent of that substance available for purchase. Require that a compounded medication be dispensed only by prescription issued by a licensed veterinarian to meet the medical needs of a specific horse and for use only in that specific horse Create a racing rules violation for the possession of a compounded medication not properly labeled consistent with existing federal requirements. Adoption of the new provision augments existing efforts of racing commissions to combat illegally compounded drugs. In 2012 several southern and western U.S. state racing commissions quietly requested federal assistance in tackling this problem. Today state and federal regulatory entities are cooperating in joint efforts. Additionally, racing commissions deploy vehicle and barn searches that have been helpful in finding illegal substances. The newly adopted policy is included in the ARCI Model Rules ARCI-011-020 and ARCI-025-020. Commissions are expected to promulgate regulations in 2015. Action on a companion provision concerning medical labeling requirements was deferred by the ARCI pending public comment on whether a prescription for a substance should be required to be issued by a veterinarian licensed in the racing regulatory jurisdiction where the track is located. Due to the fact that many horses participate in multiple jurisdictions, questions were raised as to whether such a requirement would impose an undue burden. Those wishing to comment on the proposed language may do so online at the ARCI website. The ARCI acknowledges those who assisted in the development and drafting of the new model policy, particularly Dr. Lynn Hovda, Chairperson of the ARCI Regulatory Veterinarians Committee; Dr. Dionne Benson, Executive Director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium; Mr. Hugh Gallagher of the New York Racing Association; Dr. Mary Scollay-Ward, Equine Medical Director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission; and Dr. Rick Arthur of the California Horse Racing Board. The ARCI is the only umbrella organization of the officially sanctioned governing rulemaking bodies for professional horse and greyhound racing in North America and parts of the Caribbean. The ARCI sets standards for racing regulation, medication policy, drug testing laboratories, totalizator systems, racetrack operation and security, and off-track wagering entities. ARCI members are the only independent entitles recognized to license, enforce, and adjudicate matters pertaining to racing. by Steve May, for Racing Commissioners International 

1 to 16 of 48
1 2 3 Next »