An April 22 discussion on anti-doping programs around the world revealed several common issues, including a need for financial resources and dealing with highly-sensitive testing equipment.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International kicked off its 2015 convention April 21 with an emphasis on identifying at-risk racehorses and equine welfare issues.
The Arizona Department of Racing is looking into a possible cause for abnormal test results involving seven different racehorses that were euthanized during the current Turf Paradise 2014-15 meet, officials said April 7.
Racing industry officials 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.
Horsemen's representatives told the Ohio Horse Racing Commission March 30 that equine medication rules, which the commission is reviewing, should be breed-specific in nature.
The OSRC said policy is needed following random post-race tests that revealed unnaturally high levels of cobalt in Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium hopes to have a recommended testing threshold level by late April for a naturally occurring amino acid that has a calming effect on racehorses.
New security measures will be employed for horses participating in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), Keeneland announced March 25.
The New York State Gaming Commission and New York Racing Association March 24 said they have established standing security protocols for horses racing in grade 1 races with purses of $1 million or more.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission March 23 approved a regulation that would permit the state's racetracks to card races that would prohibit the administration of furosemide within 24 hours of post time.
New York regulators March 23 said they want to hold a forum to consider the future use of anti-bleeding medication furosemide in the state.
The Ontario Racing Commission said March 20 it will begin developing a "practical and appropriate response" for testing for the mineral cobalt.
Setting the testing threshold for cobalt chloride has become the challenge of racing regulators. North American racing has been well behind in its application of a satisfactory testing threshold applied across all states.
The head of the Association of Racing Commissioners International has reiterated the organization's intention to push for a uniform approach for regulation of cobalt.
With the large concentration of graded stakes scheduled for spring and summer, The Jockey Club is reminding regulators and racetracks that it has budgeted another $250,000 in grants for out-of-competition testing.
As the Ohio State Racing Commission begins a comprehensive review of its medication rules and examines the National Uniform Medication Program, it has a hired a longtime veterinarian to consult on policies and procedures.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium may be close to recommending policy on the endogenous element cobalt, which when administered in high doses is believed to enhance production of red blood cells.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission March 10 upheld an administrative law judge's order that trainer Tom Amoss be suspended 60 days and fined $5,000 in a therapeutic medication case that has dragged on for three years.
Santa Anita Park stewards March 5 announced the dates of A.C. Avila's California Horse Racing Board-ordered suspension, but the trainer has already stated he will contest the penalty in court.
A group of prominent organizations involved in Thoroughbred breeding, racing, and sales in North America issued a joint statement Feb. 24 in reaction to the British Horseracing Authority's enhanced equine anti-doping rules.
Legislation governing racehorse medication policy unanimously passed the Florida Senate Regulated Industries Committee Feb. 18 and was reported favorably to the full Senate.
Legislation governing equine medication policy is scheduled to be heard Feb. 18 by the Florida Senate Regulated Industries Committee.
A fourth Maryland trainer has been suspended and fined in connection with a positive test for the synthetic anabolic steroid stanzolol.
Though the Association of Racing Commissioners International remains a member of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, it intends to take the lead role in gathering the information needed to set medication policies.
The umbrella group for regulators in North America is examining a new approach to out-of-competition testing that would not only target blood doping and gene doping, but also identify horses at risk of catastrophic injury.
The racing and breeding industry in North America is devising a plan of action to accommodate the British Horseracing Authority's zero-tolerance policy for the presence of anabolic steroids in Thoroughbreds.
As part of an examination of its equine medication rules, the Ohio State Racing Commission in February will begin hearing from various industry organizations involved in an effort to adopt uniform policies for all states.
The Organization of Racing Investigators will hold its 2015 training conference March 1-4 at New Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission Jan. 12 said regulation of cobalt, a naturally occurring substance in racehorses that can have performance-enhancing qualities when supplemented, indicates decreases in abuse.
Three regulatory veterinarians said Jan. 12 they support recent action by the Association of Racing Commissioners International to adopt a model rule on compounded drugs used in horse racing.
RCI said Jan. 5 it is taking steps to ensure regulatory agencies have adequate authority to sanction licensees who violate existing federal restrictions limiting the use of illegally compounded medications.
The industry's Racing Medication and Testing Consortium plans to reorganize its own Scientific Advisory Committee but does not plan to merge with the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission reported Dec. 18 a total of 47 rulings for positive tests for prohibited substances or substances over threshold levels at the 2014 Indiana Grand race meet.
The RMTC said Dec. 9 the Thoroughbred industry has made "major gains" this year in the number of jurisdictions operating or soon to be operating under all or part of the National Uniform Medication Program.
New York regulators are ready to consider final revisions to rules specifying allowable testing threshold levels for two dozen medications used to treat Thoroughbreds in advance of races.
Maggi Moss has had success racing at Indiana Grand Race Course, which she calls a bright spot in Midwest Thoroughbred racing. But dysfunction and unfair practices in racing regulation are threatening the business, she said.
The Kentucky General Assembly Interim Joint Subcommittee on Horse Farming was given a generally positive update on the status of the racing and breeding industry in the state Nov. 12 in light of years of declines.
All samples collected from horses that competed in the 2014 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park have been cleared by the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at UC-Davis.
As Santa Anita Park prepares to host the Breeders' Cup World Championships Oct. 31-Nov. 1, track management is confident its new dirt surface will perform well and safely.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission announced Oct. 30 that the backlog of its drug testing samples is cleared and testing current at its Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse race meet at Indiana Grand.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held for the first time under reforms included in the National Uniform Medication Program.
The recent announcement by Breeders' Cup to ban horses from being entered in the World Championships if their trainers are found to be in violation of its convicted trainers rule, effective 2015, could signal change.
Officials at a Lexington equine drug-testing laboratory blamed recent long delays in processing samples on a spike of nearly 100 times the number of usual suspicious results this year compared with 2013.
- By Tom LaMarra
Research commissioned by The Jockey Club shows that, though the Thoroughbred industry has made progress in the area of uniform medication and testing standards, a state-by-state approach is at best problematic.
Ogden Phipps said Oct. 6 a centralized regulatory body for horse racing would facilitate changes necessary to improve the integrity of the sport in the United States, but the chances of it happening are slim to none.
- By Tom LaMarra
United States Trotting Association-funded research into cobalt has resulted in a regulatory testing threshold of 70 parts per billion, the organization said Sept. 30.
A Kentucky racing official Sept. 12 said the state has been at the forefront of research into cobalt, a naturally occurring element said to have blood-doping qualities if used at high levels.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission Sept. 4 voted 3-0 to approve rules to regulate cobalt levels in Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses.
The New York State Gaming Commission Sept. 4 said it will issue a standard 10-year suspension to anyone who violates the harness racing rule prohibiting the use of substances that abnormally oxygenate a horse's blood.
Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker, who made a splash at this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), was suspended for four games by for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.
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