Out-Of-Competition Rule Revision Efforts

Published: July 15, 2016 10:18 am EDT

The Model Rules Committee of the ARCI has moved closer to a revision of the Model Rules to facilitate an expansion of out-of-competition testing by forming a subgroup of regulators involving several industry organizations to address what have been identified as deficiencies in a proposal submitted by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium that had widespread at their last meeting.

The New York Gaming Commission representative on the committee identified a provision that some regulators said would create a “safe harbour” for blood dopers by limiting the hours out-of-competition samples could be taken.

Model Rules Chairman Larry Eliason indicated that the proposal “was not yet ready for prime time” while appointing a committee of regulators chaired by New York Gaming Commission Associate Counsel Rick Goodell to perfect language that could be adopted.

The group was instructed to involve Dr. Dionne Benson of the RMTC, Dr. Jeff Blea of the AAEP, Dr. Clara Fenger of the NAARV, Dave Basler of the National HBPA and others as deemed appropriate.

RCI President Ed Martin indicated that there was universal support for expanded out of competition testing but no proposals have been made as to how this would be paid for. He indicated that the ARCI Town Hall/Focus Group project is testing concepts that might be used to fund such an effort.

It was also noted that the existing Model Rule dealing with Out-of-Competition Testing is far reaching and applies to any horse under the care and control of a licensee, regardless of location, and subjects them to testing for blood and/or gene doping agents without advance notice. Horses could be selected at random, with probably cause, or as determined by the commission.

The main difference between RMTC proposal and the existing Out of Competition model rule is that it seeks to prohibit the use of anabolic steroids in training except under defined restrictions.

Existing regulatory policy currently strictly prohibits steroids in competition. This proposal seeks to expand authority to regulate substances that some claim have therapeutic value to some horses, in specific circumstances. This is done in human sport and the way the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) deals with the legitimate medical needs of human athletes is to permit exemptions for therapeutic use for otherwise prohibited substances ti be used in training and competition.

(with files from RCI)

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