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RMTC to review clenbuterol rules for harness

September 20, 2013

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The board of directors of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) held a regular meeting Sept.17 in Denver, Colo. Phil Langley, president of the US Trotting Association (USTA), and Mike Tanner, USTA CEO, attended the meeting representing harness racing.
The RMTC board voted to authorize the RMTC's Scientific Advisory Committee to explore whether the scientific research will support separate medication rules for Standardbreds in regard to the withdrawal times for clenbuterol and intra-articular corticosteroids at the request of the United States Trotting Association.
The USTA and some Standardbred racing leaders have expressed concern that because Standardbreds race more frequently than Thoroughbreds and thus have post-race tests more frequently, withdrawal times recommended by RMTC for clenbuterol and intra-articular corticosteroids would effectively prohibit the use of those therapeutic medications unless a horse was sidelined from racing for several weeks.
The RMTC board also took the following actions:
  • Unanimously voted to recommend that stanozolol be eliminated from those substances with an RMTC recommended threshold level and to present that revision to the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) for its adoption. The previous threshold allowed stanozolol to be administered up to about 30 days prior to racing. The removal of the threshold means that stanozolol will become a prohibited substance in jurisdictions adopting this recommendation and can no longer be present at any concentration in a horse on race day. Stanozolol is a synthetic anabolic steroid that was previously marketed as Winstrol™ but is now only available as a compounded product.
  • Voted to grant Interim Accreditation status to the Ohio Department of Agriculture Racing Laboratory. The Ohio Department of Agriculture Laboratory will become the third fully accredited laboratory upon successful completion of a site inspection, as it has previously fulfilled the other requirements for RMTC accreditation. The University of California-Davis Kenneth L. Maddy Laboratory and HFL Sport Science Inc. Laboratory in Lexington, Ky., were the first two laboratories to be accredited by the RMTC, and five other laboratories have applied for accreditation.
  • Voted to support the effort for nationwide adoption of uniform medication rules, penalties and laboratory accreditation reforms, and directed RMTC staff to provide any scientific expertise needed by racing commissions to support adoption of these reforms.
  • Voted to form a committee to review the existing model rule for out of competition testing and to recommend any necessary changes to the protocol for the collection and testing of out of competition samples at the request of The Jockey Club.
  • Elected Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, to succeed Dr. Bobby Lewis as chairman of the RMTC board. Lewis, who served as chairman for the past six years, will continue to represent the American Association of Equine Practitioners on the RMTC board. "I am very proud of what the RMTC has accomplished since its inception,” stated Dr. Lewis. "I look forward to seeing the implementation of the National Uniform Medication Reform program that has been the focus of much of our work over the past six years.”

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. (with files from RMTC)

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