During its meeting on Thursday, November 2, in Louisville, Ky., the board of directors of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) announced future plans regarding anabolic steroids and out-of-competition drug testing, and received an update on ongoing projects related to the development of withdrawal times for therapeutic medications.
The RMTC also announced it has retained Jim Gallagher, who most recently was executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, as a regulatory and security consultant.
Following a presentation from a sub-committee on the predominately unrestricted use and lack of uniform testing protocols for anabolic steroids in U.S. horse racing, the RMTC reaffirmed its commitment to present recommendations to the industry on the regulation of these drugs in December at the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing.
In light of the recently introduced confirmation test for the blood-doping agent Erythropoietin (EPO) by the University of Pennsylvania, the RMTC approved a proposed draft of a rule regarding out-of-competition drug testing that will be forwarded to the Model Rules Committee of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
RMTC Executive Director Dr. Scot Waterman and Dr. Rick Sams of the University of Florida reported that the RMTC will soon complete a pilot project on eight therapeutic medications: acepromazine, lidocaine, mepivacaine, pyrilamine, glycopyrrolate, butorphanol, methacarbomol and detomidine. The goal of the pilot project is to develop the necessary protocols for research into developing scientifically defensible withdrawal times that will begin later this year. This is in conjunction with the recently announced collaboration with the Kentucky Equine Drug Council on the proposed development of a 20-horse training stable in Kentucky to more accurately measure withdrawal times in racehorses.
The RMTC continues to survey state racing commissions and state regulatory veterinarians to gather information about currently recommended withdrawal times on therapeutic medications in each state. As announced at The Jockey Club Round Table Conference in August, the RMTC website will soon provide an interactive guide to recommended withdrawal times for the approved therapeutic medications commonly used in the training of racehorses.
In response to RMTC fund-raising efforts, Magna Entertainment Corp. expressed the commitment of its 11 United States tracks to provide financial support to the RMTC for 2006 and 2007.
Gallagher, who is scheduled to begin his new position with the RMTC in December, will provide coordination and related administrative duties to promote the adoption of model rules, policies and procedures for the uniform regulation of medication, including recommended penalties for drug rule violations. Gallagher will also focus on recommendations for uniform drug testing and security best practices in horse racing.
“With his experience in the medication and regulatory fields and his wide range of industry contacts, Jim will be a tremendous asset to the consortium,” said Waterman.
Gallagher spent 22 years with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and then headed up the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Racing Integrity and Drug Testing Task Force.
The next RMTC board meeting is tentatively scheduled for mid-February in Tampa, Fla.
For additional information, visit the RMTC website at www.rmtc.wpengine.com or contact:
Dr. Scot Waterman, Executive Director, RMTC: (859) 224-2844
Dan Fick, Chairman, RMTC: (859) 224-2708