Task Force Head Supports 'Medication Summit'

The executive director of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's task force on drug testing and integrity believes the concept of a "medication summit," floated by the American Association of Equine Practitioners, is an idea worth pursuing.

"It falls inside of what we're interested in doing," Jim Gallagher said. "It's definitely worth talking about to see how far apart (on medication and drug testing) we really are. The question is how can we collectively build a better mousetrap if there are cheaters?"

The AAEP made the recommendation as part of a revised position on medication. Gallagher said a national meeting of industry participants could be particularly helpful to owners and trainers.

The NTRA task force expects to have the results from its initial round of "super testing" ready by the first quarter of 2001. Gallagher said 29 states and 18 racetracks are on board by providing testing samples or finances for the project. In all, about 1,500 samples have been tested at Cornell University in New York, and the University of California-Davis.

"We're also looking at research projects for the development of tests for new drugs that will come into racing," Gallagher said.