During a November 15 meeting by phone, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board approved further regulations and stacking prohibitions, as well as corresponding threshold and penalty recommendations, for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and intra-articular (IA) injections.
The RMTC board has recommend a 48-hour Restricted Administration Time policy for all NSAIDs. Currently, the administration of one NSAID is permitted between 24 and 48 hours prior to a race, with all others discontinued by 48 hours. The board also voted that the detection of more than one NSAID would constitute a “stacking” violation, in addition to the violation associated with the detection of each additional NSAID.
“The administration of multiple NSAIDs is a welfare and safety concern for our equine and human athletes,” said Dr. Rick Arthur, RMTC Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) member. “The adoption of the restricted administration time essentially aligns us with international standards and eliminates the co-administration of NSAIDs prior to a race.”
The RMTC board affirmed the position of its SAC that additional constraints on IA injections are warranted, including a mandatory 14-day stand down period following all IA injections, as well as a prohibition on stacking of corticosteroids in which the detection of more than one corticosteroid would be a violation. This move would also put U.S. regulations in line with Europe, where a 14-day stand down has been in effect.
Executive Director and COO Dr. Mary Scollay said that to facilitate compliance, the RMTC will provide horsemen with expanded withdrawal guidance for NSAIDs and corticosteroids.
The proposed model rule and penalties for the 48-hour restricted administration time and stacking prohibition on NSAIDs, as well as the proposed model rule and penalties for IA injections and prohibition on corticosteroid stacking, have been forwarded to ARCI for adoption as ARCI Model Rules.
The RMTC consists of 23 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.
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