July 19, 2013

Contact: Hallie Roach Lewis (859) 224-2848


The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board of directors has given final approval for a Multiple Violation Penalty (MVP) model rule and has forwarded it to the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) for consideration at its meeting in Saratoga on July 30-31, 2013.

The MVP model rule represents an industry-wide plan to provide appropriate penalties for serious or accumulated violations of medication regulations, and is another important step toward enacting a new comprehensive medication and testing regulatory system for North American racing.

The highlights of the model rule are:

• It is a point-based system. All medication violations will be assigned points.

o Point values are based on the RCI Uniform Classification of Drugs (1-5) and Penalty Classification (A-D).

o Violations involving the newly approved Controlled Therapeutic Medications will receive fewer points than those for the non-controlled or prohibited substances. (Controlled Therapeutic Medications are listed in the RCI Model Rule as medications suitable for horses in training, for which trace levels may be detected in post-race testing – those levels being below having any effect on race day.)

o Trainers accumulating a predetermined number of points will be required to serve an additional mandatory suspension.

• Mandatory suspensions may be incurred for as few as two medication violations depending on the category.

• Suspensions resulting from the MVP system range from 30-360 days.

• Violations in all jurisdictions will be combined and the MVP system requires. stewards/commissions in respective jurisdictions to consider a trainer’s entire point record.

• Licensees will have the ability to have points incurred in lesser therapeutic categories expunged from their record after defined durations.

Development of the MVP model rule emanated from 2011’s International Summit on Race Day Medication, EIPH and the Racehorse – sponsored by the RMTC, AAEP and NTRA – at which the industry’s penalty system was identified as a major concern. At the Summit, the RMTC Penalties Subcommittee, led by vice chairman Alan Foreman, Esq., was tasked with developing a system to punish repeat violators of medication regulations. The Subcommittee expanded its mandate to include the identification of therapeutic medications that now comprise the Controlled Therapeutic Medications list, and laboratory enhancement and accreditation.

“RMTC formed the Penalties Subcommittee in response to our industry’s desire to eliminate the broad disparities in penalties across the various jurisdictions and to create a penalty system that is an effective deterrent against intentional violation of medication rules to gain unfair advantage in racing,” said RMTC Chairman Dr. Bobby Lewis. “The RMTC board believes these suggested guidelines are a big step in that direction.”

Prior to adopting the model rule, the RMTC worked extensively with other industry groups including the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, The Jockey Club, the National Horsemen’s Benevolence and Protective Association, and the RCI. Since the proposed MVP system was announced at the RCI Convention in April, both RCI and RMTC have received industry comment from numerous industry groups. All issues raised by these groups were considered in the model rule.

“The MVP model rule is the result of two years of work by the RMTC Penalties Subcommittee,” stated RMTC Executive Director Dr. Dionne Benson. “The concerns of all interested parties were heard and discussed extensively during that time. The resulting rule represents a reasonable and straightforward method for addressing the issue of repeat medication violations.”

The RMTC consists of 24 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing. The organization works to develop and promote uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level; coordinate research and educational programs that seek to ensure the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants; and protect the interests of the racing public.

For additional information, visit the RMTC website at or contact Hallie Lewis, RMTC director of communications, at (859) 224-2848.