Medication Consortium Recommends Owners Fee

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is recommending owners pay a $5 per start fee to fund research to develop threshold levels and withdrawal times for therapeutic medications. The money would also be used to develop tests for prohibited and unknown substances, lab accreditations, and quality assurance programs.

At its meeting in Lexington Sept. 9, the consortium also elected Dan Fick, the executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club, as its chairman.

Fick succeeds D.G. Van Clief Jr., who has served as chairman of the RMTC since February 2003.

"We are grateful for the leadership and enthusiasm that D.G. Van Clief Jr. devoted to the consortium and the industry should be grateful as well," said executive director Scot Waterman. "We've made important strides in the past year and we are confident we will make further progress with Dan Fick at the helm."

At the meeting, the RMTC also:

* Received a progress report from Waterman indicating approximately 60% of the jurisdictions had either adopted or were in the process of adopting the RMTC language in the model rules approved by RCI and NAPRA in April;

* Approved the formation of a scientific sub-committee to prepare policy language which will address the issue of "milkshaking" or bicarbonate loading in Thoroughbreds;

* Approved the development of a request for proposal (RFP) for the development of best practices, minimum standards, and recommended procedures for backstretch and training center security programs, including but not limited to training programs for security personnel and racing investigators, video surveillance systems, detention barns and informant reward programs; and

* Directed the RMTC finance committee to continue working with track representatives to develop a comparable funding mechanism for tracks to financially support and participate in RMTC efforts to improve and expand security in the barn area and at training centers.