The Association of Racing Commissioners International board of directors April 23 approved a testing threshold level and penalties for the mineral cobalt, a naturally occurring substance in racehorses.
The executive committee of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) has approved a uniform testing threshold of 110 parts per billion (ppb) in blood for the naturally occurring amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid.
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.
The board of directors of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) today announced that a uniform threshold for cobalt regulation in the U.S. was approved at its March 24 meeting at Gulfstream Park.
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.
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.
States need to make multiple medication violation policy a priority. read blog
In 2014, U.S. horse racing appeared on pace to register its fewest positive drug tests for anabolic steroids since the industry moved to outlaw the drugs from racing in 2008-09. But recent events in Maryland changed that.
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 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 Association of Racing Commissioners International board has selected five initial members for its new Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International has asked that the industry's Racing Medication and Testing Consortium be merged into a new RCI scientific advisory board.
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.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium believes the majority of racing jurisdictions will have a substantial portion of the National Uniform Medication Program in place by year's end.
- 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.
- 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.
The Arkansas Racing Commission approved the entire program Sept. 11. Once implemented, Arkansas will become the sixth state to fully administer the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium's National Uniform Medication rules.
In a 12-month period that has seen drug compounders linked to horse deaths at a training center and integrity issues at the track, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is researching ways it could add regulatory oversight.
Following a presentation by RMTC executive director Dionne Benson, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association has issued a statement pledging support of the uniform medication program.
Advocates for change in horse racing didn't find much reason for optimism in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's legislative update held in Saratoga Springs Aug. 7.
In response to several top trainers calling for the end of race-day furosemide, horsemen's groups throughout the country say they will continue to support the use of the diuretic to prevent or reduce the severity of EIPH.
Racing Medication and Testing Consortium executive director Dionne Benson discussed the implications of a British steroid ban on U.S. horses Aug. 6 during TOBA's annual members meeting.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Aug. 1 hired Truesdail Laboratories in California to handle its equine drug testing and will ask the lab to test about 40 "cloudy samples" from a three-week period in July.
Some of North America's top trainers are backing a plan to eliminate the use of race-day medication in the U.S. beginning next season with 2-year-olds, and expanding to all horses in 2016.
Churchill Downs Inc. on July 31 became the 24th racetrack entity in the United States to commit to making a contribution to the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
Multiple racing jurisdictions have adopted all or parts of the National Uniform Medication Program, with others expected to be on board by the end of this year.
Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders executive director David Switzer announced June 10 that he will retire from the organization Aug. 1 after 21 years at the helm.
Saying the current withdrawal time on the books for flunixin (Banamine) could leave New York horsemen and veterinarians vulnerable to positive tests, the NYTHA is recommending extending the time by an additional eight hours.
The National HBPA said April 11 it supports changes made by the Association of Racing Commissioners International in regard to uniform medication regulations.
Racing jurisdictions have made progress on equine medication reform but states and their regulatory agencies must commit to move quickly and in unison, said Alex Waldrop, president of the NTRA and chairman of the RMTC.
Racing industry organizations have greatly stepped up their call for swift adoption of national model rules on medication and drug testing in the wake of probes into allegations of mistreatment and over-medication of horses.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium board of directors took several actions March 17 intended to further the process toward the nationwide adoption of uniform medication rules, penalties, and testing.
Kentucky horsemen March 14 were given an overview of impending equine medication changes and also provided with a few tips to avoid headaches when the new regulations take effect later in the spring.
New York racing regulators raised the prospects of imposing new transparency standards on stewards, including possibly publicly releasing videos that are used by officials in decisions affecting the outcome of a race.
When is a scientific study not a scientific study? That was a question posed by several panelists during a two-hour session on medication Jan. 25 during the National HBPA winter convention.
A booklet put together by several individuals at the forefront of equine medication reform has been prepared for Maryland, which will enact the Mid-Atlantic Uniform Medication and Drug-Testing Program Jan. 1, 2014.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Dec. 11 approved changes to its withdrawal time guidelines for all racing breeds in line with the national uniform medication rules.
Amid another call for separate medication rules for Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds, the Ohio State Racing Commission has indicated it's not prepared to adopt a uniform national drug policy.
A pair of position papers released by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium find no physiologic difference in various racing breeds to justify changes to its regulatory thresholds for clenbuterol and corticosteroids.
California has become the latest state to enact medication reforms developed by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and adopted as model rules by the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
The NTRA is submitting a letter to the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade outlining progress in the national reform effort to enhance the safety and integrity of racing.
- By Frank Angst
- Racing, Northeast Region, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region, Kentucky
Regulators and racing leaders are taking a close look at facilities such as the Weatherford Compounding Pharmacy in Texas, which offers products with names such as Equine Growth Hormone, Game Changer, and Tourniquet.
If Kentucky is going to join the Mid-Atlantic Uniform Medication Reform's efforts to put uniform medication rules in place in each racing state, it's going to take some work and time.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has reported that the effort to adopt uniform national reforms addressing changes to medication regulation, enforcement, and laboratory testing continues to gain support.
The United States Trotting Association, which in late September dropped out of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and rejected model medication rules approved by RCI, has created its own drug advisory committee.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium's Tactical Research Program was instrumental in the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission's recent prosecution of trainer Donald Roberson.
A major proponent for national uniform medication rules said Sept. 26 the move by the United States Trotting Association to drop out of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium won't derail the effort.
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