Cal-Davis & HFL first accredited labs by RMTC
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In addition to granting full accreditation to the above laboratories, the RMTC's Horseracing Testing Laboratories Committee also recommended the Ohio Department of Agriculture for Interim Accreditation status as they have satisfied the initial review and External Quality Assurance Program (EQAP) requirements and are awaiting a site inspection from RMTC.
Dr. Lewis also pointed out that five other laboratories have applied for RMTC Laboratory Accreditation:
"The goal is to have 100% of the laboratories testing horse racing samples RMTC accredited,” said Dr. Dionne Benson, Executive Director and COO of the RMTC. "We encourage these laboratories and all horse racing testing laboratories to continue to pursue RMTC accreditation. The purpose of the RMTC accreditation process and Quality Assurance Program is to ensure that all laboratories are operating at the same high level of proficiency.”
RMTC accreditation requires a drug testing laboratory to satisfy a number of requirements. Before an application for RMTC accreditation can be processed, the laboratory must first become ISO 17025 certified – an internationally recognized accreditation program covering general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration labs, as well as specific requirements for animal drug testing.
After obtaining ISO accreditation, the laboratories must then submit to the RMTC an application and undergo a multi-part assessment. This begins with a document review of the laboratory's processes by an independent auditor with specific experience in horse racing laboratory operations.
Once the documentation is reviewed, the laboratory must also submit to a multi-day site inspection by another independent assessor. The individuals performing the work on behalf of RMTC have significant experience in the area of equine drug control, horse racing laboratory operations, and inspection of both human and horse anti-doping laboratories.
Finally, the laboratories must also successfully complete two rounds of the RMTC EQAP proficiency sample testing before being granted accreditation. This testing provides independent verification of the laboratory's ability to detect, identify, and quantify (if appropriate) substances of concern in the horse racing arena including regulated substances at concentrations that are mandated by the RMTC model rule recommendations. Furthermore, laboratories are required to successfully complete twice yearly EQAP proficiency testing before they are eligible for accreditation, and must continue to successfully complete two rounds each year to maintain accreditation.
Laboratory representatives spoke highly of the process.
"The professionalism and expertise of the laboratory assessors is crucial to a process such as the RMTC Accreditation Program,” stated Dr. Richard Sams, director of the HFL Sport Science Inc. laboratory in Lexington. "We were very impressed with the individuals chosen by the RMTC for this task – they were highly qualified scientists who are extremely knowledgeable about the industry.”
"The University of California-Davis' K.L. Maddy Lab is proud to be one of the first labs accredited to the new horse racing Lab standard,” said Professor of Equine Analytical Chemistry Dr. Scott Stanley. "The RMTC accreditation inspection process and sample proficiency testing are major steps forward for racing."
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.
For additional information, visit the RMTC website atrmtcnet.com or contact Hallie Lewis, RMTC director of communications, at (859) 224-2848. (RMTC)