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'With very few exceptions, almost all race horses tested for drugs are found to be clean, a fact that undermines the credibility of those who peddle the perception that harness racing has an out of control drug problem,' RCI President Ed Martin said today in releasing an RCI report entitled Drugs in Racing 2010-The Facts.

Delegates to the 22nd World Trotting Conference, which convened here today for the second of five sessions, turned their attention to an all-star lineup of speakers who dealt with the many facets of integrity and regulation for the Harness Racing Industry.

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board of directors voted today (August 4) to support a requirement that furosemide only be administered on race day by regulatory veterinarians. The board also voted its support for the elimination of adjunct bleeder medications as well as enhanced security measures and a more severe penalty structure for medication violations.

The Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee of Racing Commissions International yesterday (July 20) voted to specifically add Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and related analogues (bath salts), Dermorphin, as well as synthetic cannabinoids as Class 1 prohibited substances in horse racing and called for any violators to be sanctioned with the highest recommended penalties contained in the RCI Model Rules.

The international medication summit is considering what race day medication policies should or should not be implemented in the future.The harness racing industry is represented by Phil Langley, president of the USTA, Joe Faraldo, president of the SOA of NY and Chairman of USTA District 8A, as well as Moira Fanning and Tom Charters representing the Hambletonian Society.

The Board of Directors of the Association of Racing Commissioners International voted without objection this week in favor of a resolution calling for the re-examination of whether its current policy pertaining to furosemide should be continued.

The United States Trotting Association has announced that its harness racing Board of Directors will be consulted to ascertain membership support of the recent call by the Association of Racing Commissioners International to ban all race-day medications.

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium board of directors announced today that it will join the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and American Association of Equine Practitioners in organizing an international summit this summer to address race-day medication.

The Executive Committee of Harness Tracks of America has voted to recommend to its harness racing Board of Directors that it support the recently announced call by the outgoing and incoming chairmen of the Association of Racing Commissioners International for a 'five-year phase-out' of equine medication in horse racing in order to bring the United States 'in line with what is going on in other parts of world.'

2010 was a year of continual progress for RMTC, marked by the completion of several drug administration studies and ongoing testing developments. In 2009, we shifted our focus from developing and promoting uniform medication policies across racing jurisdictions to several large-scale projects, which have been our primary concentration moving forward.

Attorney/horsemen Billy Childs of Westbrook, Maine, reports that the Maine State Harness Racing Commission withdrew its complaint against trainer Douglas Gray for an alleged elevated TCO2 violation.

Both the outgoing and incoming chairmen of Racing Commissioners International challenged the racing industry and member regulators to embrace a strategy to phase out drugs and medication in all horse racing, thoroughbred racehorses and harness racing.

The Association of Racing Commissioners International today classified Zilpaterol Hydrochloride as a 'Class 3' substance and called for the most severe penalty should it be found in a racehorse.

Based on the recommendation of its Scientific Advisory Committee, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board of directors has recommended scientifically identified withdrawal guidelines and plasma thresholds for the short-acting bronchodilator glycopyrrolate, the muscle relaxant methocarbamol and four anabolic steroids, three of which are endogenous (naturally occurring) in the horse.

The Model Rules Committee of the Association of Racing Commissioners International will meet via conference call on Friday, September 17, at 1 p.m. (EDT) to consider the recommendation to lower the recommended threshold for phenylbutazone (bute) from 5 micrograms per milliliter of plasma or serum to 2 micrograms per milliliter of plasma or serum.

All out-of-competition samples for harness racing entrants in the $1.5 million Hambletonian and $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks have tested negative in advance of Saturday's events at Meadowlands Racetrack.

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