By: Tom LaMarra
Three former racing regulators have been chosen to sit on a panel that will certify jurisdictional compliance with integrity standards each year—the components of the National Uniform Medication Program will be the focal point for 2017.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International Feb. 1 named Steve Barham, Bennett Liebman and Allan Monat to the panel. Barham was Executive Director of the Oregon Racing Commission and helped manage the ARCI model rules process; Liebman served on the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and as a racing adviser to two New York governors; and Monat was a member of the Illinois Racing Board.
ARCI officials last fall indicated plans to create the compliance panel to independently assess progress of model rules adoption. The former regulators will report to the ARCI board of directors each year and rate jurisdictions as compliant, substantially compliant, or non-compliant.
An ARCI release suggested the ratings will be used by racing jurisdictions and the industry at large to identify progress or lack thereof. ARCI President Ed Martin said some industry stakeholders want a “formal certification program” to help them identify whether tracks from which they import races operate under certain integrity standards.
Looking ahead, it’s logical the new expanded model rule on out-of-competition testing, or portions of the code of standards under the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, would be incorporated.
Martin said ARCI won’t recommend to a jurisdiction which simulcast signals it should or shouldn’t import. He said that’s up to racetracks, horsemen’s groups, regulatory agencies, advance deposit wagering services, and off-track betting outlets.
“All the ARCI will do is provide information for others to assess what weight to give it in making decisions affecting their customers or constituents,” Martin said.
The compliance panel dovetails with a proposal by the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association by which major racetracks and horsemen’s groups would work together to withhold simulcast signals from jurisdictions that don’t adopt NUMP in full. The Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 grants various pari-mutuel racing entities such authority.
“The racetracks, with the support of their state regulators and horsemen’s groups, could make a firm commitment,” Rick Violette Jr., President of the THA and New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, wrote in a commentary. “As of a reasonable date, the standard for sending or receiving simulcast signals would be full NUMP compliance. After that date, the members of this voluntary coalition, with the backing of their regulatory bodies, would no longer enter into simulcast contracts with racetracks in states that have not adopted all four points of the program–the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule, full laboratory accreditation, third-party Lasix administration, and the Multiple Medication Violation Penalty System.”