Medication Issues Dominate Racing Conference

The use and possible abuse of therapeutic medications will be dominating discussions throughout the meeting.

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The use and possible abuse of therapeutic medications will be dominating the April 25 discussions throughout the 78th annual Conference on Racing and Wagering Integrity under way in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The annual conference, hosted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) is the largest meeting of racing regulators held in the United States. The conference began April 25 with training sessions for new racing commissioners and was followed by joint sessions with the Racing Officials Accreditation Program designed to tackle new regulatory topics that racing stewards and judges face.

Ed Martin, RCI president, said public policymakers should consider "expanding the role of the commissions by providing resources and authority to assess the propriety of equine veterinary care of horses in training." He raised the possibility that state legislation could empower commissions to review whether medications are being overused or abused by track veterinarians.

"Our current enforcement is focused on ensuring that no horse has an unfair advantage on race day," Martin said. "The overwhelming majority of medication violations in racing are for legal substances administered by licensed professional veterinarians

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The Blood-Horse is the leading weekly publication devoted to international Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Since 1916, the staff of The Blood-Horse has served the Thoroughbred community with the highest standards of journalistic excellence to provide comprehensive and timely editorial coverage and analysis.

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