RMTC Plans Changes but No Merger with RCI

Executive Committee affirms importance of "apolitical" medication research.

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 executive committee of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium met Dec. 17 to consider a recent letter from RCI inviting the RMTC to merge with RCI's new Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee.

RCI Request Would Change RMTC's Current Role

RCI Appoints Five to New Medication Board

RMTC executive committee members Wednesday reaffirmed an Oct. 13 board decision to conduct strategic planning on future research needs, and to reorganize the RMTC Scientific Advisory Committee and its processes to adapt and respond to new drugs, practices, and substances which threaten the integrity of racing, according to an RMTC release.

Further, the executive committee affirmed the importance of maintaining an independent and apolitical RMTC for equine drug and therapeutic medication research, the release said, noting RMTC's efforts have led to significant changes that have improved U.S. drug testing capabilities and medication regulation from its current independent position.  

The RMTC said it continues to welcome scientific input and review from the RCI and others during the scientific advisory process to further the the mission of ensuring the fairness and integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants, and to protect the interests of the racing public.

"With 23 member organizations representing virtually every segment of the industry, and the financial support of many industry stakeholders, the RMTC is one of the horse racing industry's true success stories," said RMTC chairman Alex Waldrop in the release. "The organization has accomplished much in its 15-year history including most recently playing a leadership role in the widespread adoption of uniform national regulations relating to therapeutic medication guidelines, penalties, and laboratory accreditation standards.  We will continue to engage with all state regulators, as well as the RCI, to further these and other critical industry goals." 

RCI president Ed Martin said Dec. 18 that regulators who have roles with the RMTC will continue to participate.