RCI's 80th annual conference on Racing and Wagering Integrity opened this week in Lexington with calls for increased diligence on the part of the United States Federal government to commit resources and enforce its current laws governing compounding pharmacies and the distribution and use of illegal substances which are being confiscated by commission investigators at racetracks.
"The failure of the federal government to enforce its laws is making our job harder,” RCI president Ed Martin said at the conclusion of a panel on Regulatory Veterinarian and Racing Investigator Needs.
Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Equine Medical Director Dr. Mary Scollay briefed the attendees on substances coming from compounded laboratories and the difference between those that are legal and those that are not. In short, appropriate substances are those prescribed by a veterinarian to treat a specific horse following a specific diagnosis utilizing substances that have been authorized by the Federal Drug Administration directly for horses or extra label use.
"Veterinarians and individuals who administer illegal compounded substances are crossing the line,” Dr. Scollay said.
Martin noted that several racing commissions had complained to the federal government more than a year ago, presenting information about illegal substances being marketed and distributed by compounding pharmacies in various states. To date no indictments have come down.
Chris Clark, president of the Organization of Racing Investigators, stressed that it was essential for commissions and racetracks to deploy investigators who are properly trained in order to effectively police the backstretch.
In other RCI news:
Outgoing Chairman Duncan Patterson encouraged member regulators to continue the push to enact uniform medication rules;
The Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee recommended to the ARCI Board of Directors that the Model Rules pertaining to restricted administration times for controlled therapeutic substances be changed to recommended withdrawal times;
Illinois Racing Board Commissioner Allan Monat, Chairman of the ARCI Rider and Driver Safety Committee, called for a renewed effort to ensure that racetracks had adequate insurance coverage to assist jockeys and riders who suffer injuries. (RCI)