The Medication Issue: Where We Stand Today
Equine Drug Research Institute Update
Nick Nicholson Nick Nicholson - President & CEO, Keeneland Association

Ogden Mills Phipps: The EDRI initiative was announced at this conference two years ago. Dr. Don Catlin and his staff out in Los Angeles have made a lot of headway and Nick Nicholson of Keeneland is here today to provide us all with an update. Nicků

Nick Nicholson: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Last year at this meeting we received a briefing on a new program under the auspices of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation by the name of the Equine Drug Research Institute (EDRI). The institute will create tests for illegal drugs used in horse racing and will provide those tests to all state laboratories at no cost to them.

The institute is under the scientific leadership of the world-renowned Dr. Don Catlin. Dr. Catlin has been in charge of the United States Olympic drug testing for many years. He headed up the scientific team that uncovered the BALCO Scandal. This is the operation that discovered THG, a very effective, hard-to-detect substance that you'll hear more about in a minute. This is the same substance that has ensnared Barry Bonds, among many others. Dr. Catlin is undoubtedly recognized around the world as a leader who will use the most modern science to catch athletic cheaters.

In addition to the service of Dr. Catlin, the other key element of the institute is that all tests, all documentation, all training and so forth, will be provided by the institute to all states at no cost. So, for an update on this very innovative new program, let's go to the video.

EDRI, in its brief existence, is already starting to have a beneficial impact on our industry's drug testing.

There are other challenges ahead to be sure. There's much to do, as Dr. Catlin has enlightened us, and we certainly have an aggressive agenda in front of us. Among the other challenges, of course, is the ongoing funding of the program - if you would like to help, we need and welcome your support. We will also expand both our communication and our collaboration with the state laboratories and with the RMTC, which, as we just heard from Scot, is providing such a vital service to the industry.

In closing, it might be appropriate to reflect that although we as an industry often seem to be dysfunctional, EDRI serves as an example that solid and timely progress can be made even in such a very complex and complicated area as this.

Thank you.

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