Commentary: Results Of Uniform Medication Rules ‘Appear Confusing At Best And Disingenuous At Worst’

by | 12.07.2015 | 3:06pm

Dr. Jennifer Durenberger wonders if Americans are “asking too much” of the National Uniform Medication Program in an editorial on Thoroughbred Racing Commentary.

A state veterinarian, racing steward and most recently the director of racing in Massachusetts, Dr. Durenberger's main concern is that the uniform rules ought to produce uniform results across the country. Unfortunately, that has not been the case, and to those both inside and outside the racing industry, the “disparate outcomes appear confusing at best and disingenuous at worst.”

The cause of the differing outcomes in similar situations is fairly straightforward, says Dr. Durenberger. She highlights the unique procedural requirements of different racing jurisdictions, some of which may investigate with in-house staff, others with police units. There are also differences in state and case law between jurisdictions, which also tend to lead to unique results. In short, “both the appetite and ability to investigate and prosecute a medication finding vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.”

One solution Dr. Durenberger proposes can be found in Section 6 of the Barr-Tonko bill, which would initiate nationwide uniform “procedures for investigating, charging, and adjudicating violations and for the enforcement of sanctions for violations.” Durenberger believes the future of racing depends on “protecting the horse,” arguing that “we wouldn't be having this conversation if the status quo was acceptable.”

Read more at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary

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