From a NTRA release

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) sent a letter to pari-mutuel regulators earlier this week urging them to adopt uniform national reforms addressing much-needed changes to medication regulation, enforcement and laboratory testing. The letter was co-signed by more than 50 racetracks and industry organizations.

The letter specified several uniform national reforms including the adoption of recently developed model medication guidelines, inclusion in a multiple violator penalty system and participation in laboratory accreditation and quality assurance programs.

The reforms have been extensively researched and developed by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), the industry’s scientific advisory organization consisting of 25 major racing industry stakeholder organizations, and the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI), the industry’s association of state regulatory bodies responsible for the integrity of racing.  RCI voted to incorporate the reforms into their official Model Rules earlier this year. It is up to individual regulatory bodies to adopt the reforms in each racing jurisdiction.

Earlier this year, eight states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast jointly agreed to implement the reforms on January 1, 2014, or when a participating state’s live racing begins in 2014. The states committed to implementing the reforms are Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Several other states are in the process of adopting these reforms as well.

“Nationwide adoption of these reforms is essential to safeguarding horses and riders and providing uniformity to fans and participants alike. If you have not done so already, we urge you to commit to the reforms and move expeditiously to adopt all aspects of the reforms,” wrote Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the NTRA and newly elected Chairman of the RMTC.

Commissioners were told to expect direct contact from industry representatives to determine their commitment to the Reforms and timeline for adoption. They were also advised to contact the RMTC for any scientific expertise or documentation needed to support the Reforms.

Mid-Atlantic and national signatories to the letter included:

  • American Association of Equine Practitioners
  • American Quarter Horse Association
  • Arabian Jockey Club
  • Association of Racing Commissioners International
  • Breeders’ Cup Limited
  • Monmouth Park
  • National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA)
  • NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance
  • Penn National Gaming (including Charles Town, Penn National, and Rosecroft Raceway harness)
  • Racing Medication and Testing Consortium
  • The Jockey Club
  • The Jockeys’ Guild
  • The Stronach Group (including AmTote, HRTV, Laurel, Pimlico, and XpressBet)
  • Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (THA) (including THA affiliates in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania)
  • Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
  • Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America, Inc.