RCI Votes Increased Multiple NSAID Penalties

Changes adopted by the organization created three classes of NSAID "stacking."

The Association of Racing Commissioners International has voted to recommend increased penalties for the detection of multiple Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, commonly known as NSAIDs. 

The changes adopted by the organization created three classes of NSAID "stacking" in an effort to differentiate violations caused by trace amounts found in a post-race sample from more serious violations where the concentrations exceeded primary regulatory thresholds.

"The new policy is intended to increase penalties for more serious violations, providing for a mandatory fine, suspension, and loss of purse," RCI said in a release. "RCI regulatory policies continue to forbid the administration of NSAIDs on race day, a process known as 'NSAID Stacking'."

Complete text of the NSAID policy

RCI Model Rules

"RCI and policies in most racing jurisdictions require that all NSAIDs be discontinued at least 48-hours prior to race day for all horses," RCI president Ed Martin said. "That policy was adopted to ensure that the medications will not interfere with pre-race veterinary examinations. A very small number of licensees have been known to try to circumvent that policy by administering small amounts of multiple NSAIDs to gain the overall effect of a larger dose of a single medication. These increased penalties are targeted to those who would deliberately try to circumvent the restrictions."

Prior to 2010, the organization's NSAID policy included a discontinuation of Phenylbutazone 24 hours prior to post time. The RCI board adopted a policy to increase that restricted time to 48 hours prior to the post time and a majority of racing jurisdictions have implemented that longer restriction, RCI said.

RCI adopted a formal definition of NSAID stacking that reads: "NSAID Stacking is deemed to occur when a post-race sample is found to contain the presence of multiple Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs in violation of the restrictions noted in ARCI-020(E) or ARCI-025-020(E)."

Also during its recent meeting at Del Mar, the RCI board approved several clerical changes to the Model Rules. The next meeting of the RCI Model Rules Committee and RCI board is scheduled for Dec. 10-12 at the Omni Tucson National Resort in Tucson, Ariz.