dionne benson

Editorial: Research Stands Behind RMTC Thresholds

In a recent letter to the editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association executive director Marty Maline suggested that the scientific evidence behind 19 of the 26 thresholds suggested by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is lacking. This week, Dr. Dionne Benson, executive director of the RMTC took to the paper […]

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Indiana Ousts Widely-Used Drug Testing Lab For ‘Continued Failure To Detect Substances’

Officials at Truesdail Laboratories in Irvine, Calif., said they plan to contest a May 12 decision by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission to terminate the company’s equine drug testing contract after Truesdail failed to detect high levels of commonly used corticosteroids in three samples taken from harness horses competing at Hoosier Park in late March […]

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Horse Racing Regulators’ Whack-A-Mole Challenge

Spent a few days at the 81st annual convention of the Association of Racing Commissioners International at Tampa, Fla. You’d think after 80 years they’d have this “regulating the horse and dog racing industries” thing figured out. Not necessarily so. But, as I learned in watching committee meetings and panel discussions of the RCI convention […]

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A Moving Target? Understanding the RMTC’s Progress

Since its 2001 foundation, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has made strides toward its goals of a nationally uniform set of medication rules and rigorous state drug testing lab accreditation. In December, RMTC anticipated the number of states working under its recommended list of therapeutic medication thresholds would increase from four at the start […]

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It’s Unanimous: Indiana Commission Votes to Regulate Cobalt

At its September 4, 2014 public meeting, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission voted 3-0 to approve rules to regulate cobalt levels in race horses. Cobalt is a naturally occurring trace mineral. The excessive administration of cobalt may enhance the performance of, and potentially become hazardous to, the horse. The Commission’s action is based on recommendations […]

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Regulators Continue Struggle to Establish Accurate Cobalt Threshold

North American racing regulators have decided to consider the results of two scientific research studies that have been commissioned to help detect the deliberate administration of cobalt in racehorses before making a formal recommendation of a regulatory testing limit to commission testing. At the RCI Model Rules Committee meeting last week, a proposed threshold was […]

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Testing, Testing: How Strong Are Racing’s Drug Testing Programs?

When the state of Maryland released a call for proposals from laboratories interested in taking on the state’s post-race testing, Dr. Rick Sams, director of the HFL Sport Science Lab in central Kentucky, read over the rules carefully. The request had a number of requirements regarding the ideal candidate’s certifications but left the actual description […]

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RMTC, HFL Lab Identify Drugs in Delaware Raid

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium’s Tactical Research Program was instrumental in the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission’s recent prosecution of Donald Roberson by working with the HFL Sport Science Lexington laboratory to identify dichloracetic acid and tadalafil, which is marketed in the U.S. under the trade name Cialis. These substances were found during a July […]

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Some Medications Are ‘For the Trainer, Not For the Horse’

According to a recent report by the Daily Racing Form, research by the Racing Medication Testing Consortium revealed a good news/bad news scenario about illegal drugs in racing. Unfortunately, more trainers than previously thought are giving their horses diluted illegal substances at undetectable levels. The good news is that those substances aren’t doing anything to enhance the […]

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