Anne M. Eberhardt

WV Panel OKs Penalty System, Drug Thresholds

The earliest the rules can be on the books is 2015 given Legislature's schedule.

The West Virginia Racing Commission May 20 signed off on several new regulations, including one that will allow the state to participate in the multiple medication violation penalty system that is part of the National Uniform Medication Program.

The commission also approved adoption of the expanded Schedule of Controlled Therapeutic Substancescurrently a list of 26 commonly used medicationsand the Association of Racing Commissioners International Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances.

In West Virginia, the state Legislature must approve such regulations. The new rules will be filed with the Secretary of State in advance of a public comment period; the earliest they can take effect, however, is 2015 during the next legislative session.

WVRC senior deputy attorney general Kelli Talbott said the regulations were agreed upon by racing stakeholders during a May 6 meeting. She recommended to the racing commission the model rules be adopted verbatim.

West Virginia last year adopted model rules as part of a Mid-Atlantic coalition seeking uniformity in the region and the country. WVRC member Greg McDermott said the latest round of regulations is "certainly consistent with our previous efforts."

In a related matter, WVRC member Bill Phillips asked staff to put together information on laboratory accreditation and the status of investigators at the state's racetracks. He noted the issues were discussed during the recent RCI conference in Lexington.

"We heard the anti-doping message loud and clear at the RCI meeting," Phillips said. "I'd like to be informed as to our investigators (and their training). This is one area we should move up on our agenda."