from an RMTC press release
A new penalty system for North American racing designed to reduce positive drug tests and identify and penalize trainers with multiple medication infractions took a major step toward implementation this week when the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board of directors gave its preliminary approval to the Multiple Violation Penalty (MVP) system. The MVP system was developed by the RMTC’s Penalties Subcommittee – a group created in response to recommendations by participants of the June 2011 International Summit on Race Day Medication who called for stricter penalties for repeat medication offenders.
Highlights of the points-based MVP system are:
•A trainer will incur points on his/her licensing record for each medication violation.
•Points for each medication are based on the ARCI Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and the Penalty Category.
•Points for violations involving medications not on the newly created Controlled Therapeutic Substances List are doubled.
•Trainers who incur sufficient MVP points will be required to serve mandatory suspensions in addition to the penalty required for the underlying violation.
•Mandatory suspensions resulting from the MVP system range from 30 to 360 days.
•MVP suspensions are additional to any suspensions and/or fines incurred for the underlying medication infractions.
•The MVP system requires jurisdictions to consider a trainer’s medication record in all racing jurisdictions.
•Trainers will be able to have some violations expunged for clean records over a period of time.
“The adoption and implementation of the MVP system is the third and most critical piece of the new Uniform Medication and Drug Testing system for racing,” stated RMTC Vice Chairman and Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Chairman Alan M. Foreman, Esquire, who is the chair of the RMTC Penalties Subcommittee.
“When fully implemented, the MVP system, combined with the limited designation of Controlled Therapeutic Substances and the RMTC Laboratory Accreditation Program, will allow North American racing to uniformly reduce medication violations, standardize drug testing across jurisdictions, enhance the quality of our testing, and enable regulators to identify repeat violators and issue penalties that are meaningful and a deterrent. This will be of great benefit to the horsemen, the regulatory community, the health and welfare of our horses, and the betting public who support our sport.”
RMTC Executive Director and COO Dr. Dionne Benson explained, “The MVP system provides a simple and straightforward method to deal with multiple medication offenders, regardless of the type of violation or the location of each violation. This is a huge step for racing and the control of medication in our sport.”
The proposed MVP system was presented by Foreman in April at the RCI’s annual meeting and is being reviewed throughout the industry. The RMTC is examining industry comments and will work with RCI over the next month to refine the system before giving its final approval. Representatives of the Mid-Atlantic states and industry organizations supporting the recently announced Mid-Atlantic Uniform Medication and Drug Testing Program are meeting in Delaware on June 10 to review and discuss the proposed MVP system and to update the progress on implementing the entire uniform program.
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.