Consortium Completes Portion of Model Drug Policy

The Racing Medication and Drug Testing Consortium reached unanimous agreement Tuesday on several sections of a model drug-testing policy that will be brought to various state regulatory agencies for review later this year.

Among the sections in the policy agreed upon were protocal on furosemide (Salix) testing and usage and uniform threshold levels for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Two sections of the plan, which consortium members declined to identify, have yet to be completed. The complete policy could be completed as soon as the September 25 meeting in Los Angeles.

Consortium executive director Scot Waterman said no further details into the plan will be made public until regulatory agencies receive the document for review and offer input. A workshop with the agencies will be conducted sometime during the fourth quarter of this year to go over any possible revisions. The policy will then be made public at the beginning of 2004.

"There is consensus on the language and the basic goal for us now is to get from point A to point B," Waterman said. "We are comfortable with putting this document in front of [regulators]. The reaction I have received privately has been very positive, so hopefully it will carryover."

The Consortium reached consensus that one of its top priorities will be to eliminate the use of EPO and to undertake research to develop rules related to this policy.

Also at its board meeting in Dallas, Tex., new director positions for the Harness Tracks of America (HTA) and United States Trotting Association (USTA) was approved. Both organizations were invited to name representatives to the board.

The Consortium also set a timeline on its research grants that are currently under review. Grants will be awarded and announced in September of this year.

The Racing Medication and Drug Testing Consortium was formed in December 2001 and is governed by a board of directors representing tracks, horsemen, veterinarians, breed registries, regulatory organizations and security personnel.

Funding has been contributed voluntarily by those organizations represented on the board of directors.