The Virginia Racing Commission Sept. 25 unanimously adopted the Association of Racing Commissioners International model medication rules, which set uniform thresholds for a list of 24 controlled therapeutic medications.

The effective date of implementation will be Jan. 1, 2014.

"I commend chairman Stuart Siegel and fellow commissions as well as executive director Bernard Hettel for advancing these reforms in a timely manner," RCI president Ed Martin said in a release. "Racing commissions across the country are moving to implement the new model medication rules, and many hope to have them in place by Jan. 1, 2014. This is yet another positive step for an industry that has been wrestling with these issues for years."

Virginia is one of several Eastern states that have adopted the uniform rules. Virginia also incorporated by reference the new RCI penalty guidelines that provide for a points system to track medication violations in order to assist regulators in determining whether an additional enhancement is appropriate for licensees with multiple violations of the medication rules.

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