(edited press release)
The International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities Advisory Council on Prohibited Substances and representatives of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium recently met in Lexington during the 75th convention of the Association of Racing Commissioners International and were sponsored by The Jockey Club.
Officials from Australia, England, France, Hong Kong, Ireland and the United States discussed the development of common definitions of prohibited substances and therapeutic medications, implementation of international screening limits, and strategies to achieve international harmonization of drug testing rules and regulations. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Ed Houghton, chair of the IFHA Advisory Council on Prohibited Substances.
Denis Egan, Irish Turf Club chief executive officer, European Horseracing Scientific Liaison Committee chairman, and a member of the IFHA executive council, discussed this group’s efforts to harmonize the screening limits in Europe.
“This was one of the most important meetings held on this subject in recent years, and considerable progress was made,” said Egan. “The momentum generated as a result of this meeting will continue, and the discussions have paved the way for greater cooperation between all parties, which is for the good of racing throughout the world.”
Dr. Rick Arthur, the California Horse Racing Board’s equine medical director and the U.S. representative on the IFHA advisory council, reviewed the differences and similarities in the use of therapeutic medication in the U.S. and major racing nations around the world.
“The opportunity for international cooperation in horse racing has never been better,” said Arthur. “Neither furosemide nor non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are permitted under international rules; but otherwise our differences are largely semantic and appear solvable. On a very positive note, we agreed to cooperate on a number of drug detection studies underway for therapeutic medications in the U.S., Europe, Africa and Australia to maximize scarce resources.”
Meeting participants agreed to stay in close contact and meet by conference call every 100 days. The RMTC consists of 25 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing.