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Bigger Penalties For NSAID Stacking?

Published: August 21, 2014 11:45 am ET

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The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) has voted to increase penalties for the detection of multiple Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, commonly known as NSAIDs.

The changes adopted by the organization created three classes of NSAID “stacking” in an effort to differentiate violations caused by trace amounts found in a post-race sample from more serious violations where the concentrations exceeded primary regulatory thresholds. The new policy is intended to increase penalties for more serious violations, providing for a mandatory fine, suspension and loss of purse. RCI regulatory policies continue to forbid the administration of NSAIDs on race day, a process known as “NSAID Stacking.”

The complete text of the policy can be found in Model Rule sections ARCI-020(E) or ARCI-025-020(E) accessible here. A full copy of the RCI Model Rules can be found by visiting this link.

“RCI and policies in most racing jurisdictions require that all NSAIDs be discontinued at least 48-hours prior to race day for all horses. That policy was adopted to ensure that the medications will not interfere with pre-race veterinary examinations,” RCI President Ed Martin said. “A very small number of licensees have been known to try to circumvent that policy by administering small amounts of multiple NSAIDs to gain the overall effect of a larger dose of a single medication. These increased penalties are targeted to those who would deliberately try to circumvent the restrictions.”

The newly adopted policy is a continuation of increased restrictions on NSAIDs. Prior to 2010 RCI policy included a discontinuation of Phenylbutazone 24-hours prior to the post time for a horse. The RCI Board of Directors adopted a policy to increase that restricted time to 48-hours prior to the post time for a horse. The vast majority of racing jurisdictions have implemented that increased restriction.

RCI adopted a formal definition of 'NSAID stacking.' It reads: “NSAID Stacking is deemed to occur when a post-race sample is found to contain the presence of multiple Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs in violation of the restrictions noted in ARCI-020(E) or ARCI-025-020(E).”

The RCI Board of Directors during its meeting at Del Mar also approved several clerical changes to the Model Rules. The next meeting of the RCI Model Rules Committee and RCI Board of Directors is scheduled December 10-12, 2014 at the Omni Tucson National Resort in Tucson, AZ. Further information about upcoming meetings will posted on the RCI Website.


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