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US Regulators Act On Medication Loophole

Wednesday, 6th March 2013

In the US, the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) adopted a new drug standard on Monday that seeks to close a potential loophole in rules that cover the administration of therapeutic medications to horses, reports drf.com. The new standard, called "Restricted Administration Times," would replace a set of recommendations called "Withdrawal Times." Withdrawal times are issued for medications that are allowed to be used therapeutically in horseracing, and they take the form of recommendations that guide horse people and veterinarians as to when it is improper to administer a drug. Currently it is possible for a horse person to administer the drug within the withdrawal window and still avoid a positive test by, for example, giving a smaller-than-recommended dose of the drug, a potential loophole. Without a positive test, it is difficult for regulators to levy a penalty. Under the new standard, horse people could be penalized for administering the drug within the window, if, for example, vet records or eyewitness accounts prove that the drug was administered in violation of the restricted administration time. The standards provide part of a new rule set that will be forwarded to individual jurisdictions in an effort to gain consensus on drug regulations across the nation.

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