Progress of Uniform Medication Policy Noted

The president of Racing Commissioners International said June 5 a survey of United States racing regulatory jurisdictions shows the adoption of the organization's uniform medication policy for racing is advancing in every region of the country.

"Adoption of the 'RCI Schedule of Controlled Therapeutic Substances' is advancing through the regulatory processes of jurisdictions throughout the United States," said Ed Martin, RCI president, in a release.

"This is national in scope and something that has eluded us all for a long time," he noted. "I know of no jurisdiction with the ability to enact these reforms that has refused to advance consideration leading to implementation of the schedule we added to the Model Rules in April."

Martin indicated established policies to ensure compliance with individual state administrative procedure statutes will govern the process of review and adoption in each racing regulatory jurisdiction.

"These reforms will be put out for public comment and it is important for the racing industry to unite and advocate for their adoption," he said.

RCI is working with a number of industry organizations to create a tailwind of support for the reforms.

"It is very important for the fans, local horsemen, owners, and tracks to realize the wonderful opportunity we have to implement uniform medication policies," said RCI chairman Duncan Patterson in a statement. "A lot of work within RCI and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has gone into developing this schedule and a general consensus that its adoption is something that would be good for the sport."

Patterson, who chairs the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, is pressing adoption of the reforms in his state as part of the Mid-Atlantic effort.

Martin credited the work of the RCI members in the Mid-Atlantic as well as the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, The Jockey Club, and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations for getting behind efforts to implement the reforms in that region by Jan. 1, 2014.

RCI is also working with the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which has called for uniformity for many years.

"There are some open issues involving potential environmental contaminants that we have asked the RMTC to look at, but we are confident the implementation of the reforms we have already added to the Model Rules will be in the best interest of those seeking to comply with the rules and avoid inadvertent violations," Martin said.

He noted that racing commission resources can be better directed at those deliberately attempting to cheat.

"There should be no delay in getting behind the work we have already done," he said.

Martin noted there is only one state where statutory requirements may delay implementation. He said discussions with industry participants in that state will be necessary to ensure they can move forward and its program is not handicapped by outdated statutory restrictions.

Martin is planning to raise these issues June 7 when he appears before a group of state legislators attending the National Conference of Legislators from Gaming States summer meeting.

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