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Letter from the President, Summer, 2013

August 03, 2013

The Mid Atlantic Uniform Medication Program is moving forward as planned; now the second piece of the puzzle, restructured penalties for violations, is in place, and it serves as the perfect complement to medication reform. On Wednesday, July 31, the Racing Commissioners International Board approved a penalty point system designed to strengthen suspensions for repeat offenders of the medication policy. It is expected the same states that have made the commitment to the Uniform Medication Program will follow suit on this initiative and implement the new penalty guidelines by Jan. 1, 2014.

Much like medication reform, this new system has had the full support of the NYTHA and its parent organization, the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, headed by Alan Foreman. There are many fingerprints on the final guidelines--the RCI, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, numerous state regulators, The Jockey Club and the horsemen have all had a hand in their creation. 

But make no mistake about this: without the horsemen of the THA on board, these guidelines
would not have become reality. Through the many meetings that often left heads spinning, it became increasingly clear that it was the horsemen who not only endorsed both initiatives, but were indeed encouraging quicker action and shorter deadlines. The days when someone could criticize the horsemen as a perennial obstruction to reform are over.

So, many thanks to all those involved in these two herculean efforts. There really are too many to list. And, to those still crying out for federal legislation, you simply are not paying attention. -

Rick Violette Jr.

Under the new RCI guidelines, medication violations involving substances not included on the RCI Schedule of Controlled Therapeutic Substances would earn 1 to 6 points, depending on the classification of the substance. Overages of the 24 Controlled Therapeutic Substances would earn half as many points. Points accumulated by a repeat offender would trigger an enhanced penalty, adding from 30 to 360 days to any suspension levied. For more information, go to 

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