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US NTRA Unveils Plan For Sweeping Reforms

Friday, 17th October 2008

The US National Thoroughbred Racing Association unveiled a series of major equine health & safety initiatives & "challenged the racing industry to adopt the sweeping reforms" as part of a package that former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson "will monitor as independent counsel," reported thoroughbredtimes.com. The NTRA "is taking pledges from racetracks to adhere to the plan as members of the new Safety & Integrity Alliance". The NTRA will "begin issuing certifications next year for racetracks who have the measures in place" & Thompson "will conduct on-going reviews & provide independent & public reports at least annually that will detail compliance". NTRA president Alex Waldrop noted: "Our industry is taking strong, positive steps to ensure the safety & integrity of our sport. Despite challenges & significant short-term & long-term costs, there is an unprecedented level of commitment among thoroughbred racing's leadership to see these measures through." The initiatives include:

  • A continued move toward uniform medication rules;
  • A ban of steroids from racing competition;
  • Out-of-competition testing for blood & gene doping agents;
  • Uniform penalties for all medication infractions;
  • Mandatory on-track & non-racing injury reporting;
  • Mandatory installation of protective inner safety rails;
  • Mandatory pre-race & post-race security;
  • Adoption of a placement program for retired thoroughbreds.
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