The racing industry’s Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) plans to reorganize its own Scientific Advisory Committee but does not plan to merge with the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI).

The RMTC’s executive committee met Dec. 17 to consider a recent letter from RCI inviting the RMTC to merge with RCI’s new Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee.

Executive committee members reaffirmed an Oct. 13 board decision to conduct strategic planning on future research needs, and to reorganize the RMTC Scientific Advisory Committee and its processes to adapt and respond to new drugs, practices, and substances which threaten the integrity of racing, an RMTC release said.

Further, the executive committee affirmed the importance of maintaining an independent and apolitical RMTC for equine drug and therapeutic medication research, the release said, noting RMTC’s efforts have led to significant changes that have improved U.S. drug testing capabilities and medication regulation from its current independent position.

The RMTC said it continues to welcome scientific input and review from the RCI and others during the scientific advisory process to further the mission of ensuring the fairness and integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants, and to protect the interests of the racing public.

"With 23 member organizations representing virtually every segment of the industry, and the financial support of many industry stakeholders, the RMTC is one of