Tag Archives: Medication


(Tom LaMarra/Blood-Horse.com)

The West Virginia Racing Commission will soon consider a penalty system for drug violations that dovetails with uniform model rules making their way through the state legislature.

The medication model rules offered by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International were approved by the WVRC last year and are making their way through the state legislature in 2014. The penalty component was not part of the rules.

Deputy attorney general Kelli Talbott, who represents the WVRC, recommended Jan. 21 the penalty system–called MVP, or multiple violation penalties–be considered for the 2015 legislative session. In order for that to happen, the rules must be submitted by June 2014.


West Virginia has participated in medication meetings in the Mid-Atlantic region. Most states in the region have approved the medication rules and the penalty system.

WVRC executive director Jon Amores said the 2014 medication rules, which include threshold testing levels and withdrawal times for 24 therapeutic drugs, already have cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and have been sent to the Senate floor for a vote. Officials decided to wait on the penalty system rather than derail movement in the legislature by submitting amendments.

When asked by racing commissioners about the penalty system in other states, Talbott said: “I’m unaware of controversies in other (Mid-Atlantic) states. Some are in stages of adopting the system, and others have adopted it.”

WVRC chairman Jack Rossi, who was re-elected to that position for 2014, said it’s possible a meeting of industry stakeholders could be held soon to hammer out a plan. West Virginia has a policy of involving all stakeholders–racetracks and horsemen’s groups–in developing rules that are submitted to lawmakers.

“I think we should move forward in some manner,” WVRC member Bill Phillips said.

Rossi said he expects an update could be provided at the commission’s February meeting.

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US Capitol(Paulick Report) As part of today’s initial hearing on HR 2012, The Horse Racing Safety Act of 2013, the Paulick Report sifted through the regulatory maze to find the written testimony of those invited to speak to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.

From PR:  Here is the background memo on H.R. 2012 and the hearing.

GovTrack.us gives H.R. 2012 a 26 percent chance of getting past committee and a 19 percent chance of being enacted.

After opening statements by H.R. 2012 co-sponsor Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and House Energy and Commerce chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the following invited witnesses will testify:

Jesse Overton, Chairman, SkyLearn, LLC and former Chairman, Minnesota Racing Commission;written testimony

Phil Hanrahan, Chief Executive Officer, National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association;written testimony

Lawrence Soma, VMD, Professor Emeritus of Anesthesia and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine; written testimony

Travis Tygart, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency; written testimony

Sheila Lyons, DVM; written testimony

Wayne Pacelle, Chief Executive Officer and President, Humane Society of the United States;written testimony

The hearing will be streamed live here.

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HR 2012(Paulick Report) Half a dozen witnesses, including current and former racing executives, veterinarians, and the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, have been called to testify Thursday at a congressional subcommittee hearing on horse racing. The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade will conduct the hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss H.R. 2012, a bill known as the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2013.  The bill calls for federal regulations on medication in racing and would give the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency independent oversight of drug testing in the sport.

The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:

– Jesse Overton, former chairman of the Minnesota Racing Commission

– Phil Hanrahan, CEO of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association

– Lawrence Soma, VMD, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

– Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency

– Sheila Lyons, DVM, a veterinarian who specializes in sport horses

– Wayne Pacelle, CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

H.R. 2012 has several co-sponsors, including Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY).  Whitfield’s wife, Connie Harriman-Whitfield, has served as a policy adviser for the HSUS.

Click here for a summary and background of H.R. 2012.

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(NTRA Press Releas) A nationwide movement to adopt uniform national reforms addressing changes to medication regulation, enforcement and laboratory testing continues to gain support and momentum.

As of November 1, nine states, including the entire mid-Atlantic region, have approved the new medication reforms that are a central component of the reform effort. The states are Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The rules are currently under consideration in Arkansas, California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Three laboratories that conduct equine drug testing for six racing jurisdictions have received accreditation from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) and laboratories conducting testing for 19 other racing states have applied for RMTC accreditation. Laboratories receiving full RMTC accreditation are The University of California-Davis (which tests samples for racehorses in California and New Mexico) and HSL Sports Science (which conducts testing for Kentucky, Maine and Virginia). The Ohio Department of Agriculture has been granted interim accreditation by the RMTC, with only a site inspection remaining before it receives a full accreditation designation.

Industrial Laboratories (which conducts testing for Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming), Truesdail Laboratories (Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington), Dalare Associates (Delaware and West Virginia), New York Drug Testing and Research Program (New York) and Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory (Pennsylvania) have applied for RMTC accreditation.

Significant progress is also being made in the area of third-party administration of Furosemide (otherwise known as Lasix or Salix). The Furosemide restrictions require that Furosemide be the only medication authorized for administration on race day and limit Furosemide administration to no less than four hours prior to post time for the race in which the horse is entered. The Furosemide restrictions also require that the administration of Furosemide be performed only by third-party veterinarians or veterinary technicians who are prohibited from working as private veterinarians or technicians on the racetrack or with participating licensees. The program is under way or in the process of being established in no fewer than 14 states, including Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania (at Penn National), Texas (at Lone Star Park and Sam Houston Race Park), Virginia and West Virginia.

A total of seven states have committed to implementation of the Multiple Medication Violation (MMV) Penalty System and regulators in many other states  have indicated a desire to adopt the MMV Penalty System once the uniform medication rules are passed in their respective jurisdictions.

“We urge all racing states to adopt these rules in their entirety. They are comprehensive and far reaching, and they establish a process for future modification to reflect the latest scientific research and development, said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop, who also serves as Chairman of the RMTC. “These rules are in the best interests of the health and safety of our human and equine athletes, enhance the integrity of our sport, ensure a level playing field for our competitors, assist horsemen who race in multiple jurisdictions and accomplish the uniform regulation of racing in the United States.

The reforms were developed by the RMTC, the industry’s scientific advisory organization consisting of 25 major racing industry stakeholder organizations, and the Association of Racing Commissioners International (“RCI”), the industry’s association of state regulatory bodies responsible for the integrity of racing. RMTC recommended the Reforms to RCI and RCI voted to incorporate the Reforms into their official Model Rules earlier this year. Individual regulatory bodies must now move to adopt the Reforms.

In late September, the NTRA sent a letter to pari-mutuel regulators urging them to adopt uniform national reforms addressing much-needed changes to medication regulation, enforcement and laboratory testing. The letter was co-signed by more than 50 racetracks and industry organizations. Several more racetracks have signed on as co-signatories to the letter. The new co-signatories are Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.; Arlington Park near Chicago; Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans; Calder Casino & Race Course near Miami; Tampa Bay Downs in Florida; and Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky.

The reforms are accessible online by clicking here.

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PaulickIrelandAn item in today’s Paulick Report caught my eye titled IRELAND: HAY, OATS AND…SAY WHAT?

Seems as on the heels of a drug scandal which implicates a variety of racing stalwarts and a fired Goolphin trainer, new charges have surfaced which include a prominent veterinary inspector who just happens to be the brother of an active trainer…To read the story click here.

I have often heard my long-time friends and associates who are pro-medication rail at the assertion that European racing is “drug free.” Trainers to man and a woman seem to routinely scoff at this notion.  Being a “the truth lies somewhere between the two sides of any given story” guy, I have long wondered how “clean” European racing really is…

Recent developments are cause for doubt…?

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rmtc(Press Release) – The Virginia Racing Commission yesterday unanimously adopted the RCI Model Medication Rules, which set uniform thresholds for a determined list of controlled therapeutic medications. The effective date of implementation will be January 1, 2014.

“I commend Chairman Stuart Siegel and fellow commissions as well as Executive Director Bernard Hettel for advancing these reforms in a timely manner. Racing commissions across the country are moving to implement the new Model Medication Rules and many hope to have them in place by January 1, 2014. This is yet another positive step for an industry that has been wrestling with these issues for years,” said Ed Martin, President of Racing Commissioners International.

Virginia is one of several Eastern States that have adopted the reformed RCI Model Medication Rules as “The Mid-Atlantic Initiative” and had committed earlier this year to moving the reforms forward.

Virginia also incorporated by reference the new RCI Penalty Guidelines that provide for a “point system” to track medication violations in order to assist commissions in determining whether an additional enhancement is appropriate for licensees with multiple violations of the medication rules.

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Salix_3AE225By Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun

Maryland racetracks will share uniform drug testing rules with seven other states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast after the state’s racing commission gave final approval Tuesday to the new regional plan for thoroughbreds and standardbreds.

Under the new rules, which take effect Jan. 1, the states will share a list of 24 permitted substances, will allow only the anti-bleeding drug Lasix to be administered within 24 hours of a race and will guarantee that their testing labs are accredited.

The plan received broad support from Maryland horsemen, racing officials and jockeys, with the only significant opposition centering on a new ban of “adjunct” medications to limit bleeding. Maryland, Virginia and Louisiana currently permit the medications, and some longtime veterinarians have said the state should hold strong in allowing them.

“It’s an inhumane decision to get rid of the adjuncts,” said veterinarian George Harmening at Tuesday’s commission meeting in Laurel.

“In my opinion, we’ve looked closely at it, and this is something the commission needs to do,” replied chairman Bruce Quade. The plan then passed by a 4-1 vote.

The rules will apply to the 2014 Preakness on May 17 at Pimlico Race Course.

In the coming months, the commission will consider tougher penalties for trainers whose horses fail drug tests.

The other states that plan to adopt the program are New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Massachusetts.

To read more from TheRacingBiz.com, click here.

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imagesBy Tom LaMarraThe Blood-Horse

The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association board of directors July 14 signed off on recommended changes to a proposed model rule on medication penalties but acknowledged acceptance of its suggestions could prove difficult.

The model rule on multiple violation penalties–MVPs–has support from other major horsemen’s groups such as the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Thoroughbred Owners of California. It will be considered by the Association of Racing Commissioners International when it meets July 30-31 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the votes are already counted when we get to Saratoga,” said Dave Basler, executive director of the Ohio HBPA and chairman of the National HBPA Model Rules Committee.

The National HBPA board, upon recommendation from its medication committee, approved suggested changes in the model rule in regard to points for medication violations and the addition of language that would compensate for environmental contamination that may lead to equine drug positives. The most controversial recommendation calls for suspensions to be served concurrently.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

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