News Releases

Thursday, August 04, 2011Contact: Hallie Lewis (859) 224-2848
RMTC Approves New Policy Recommendations Based on Reports from Its Race Day Medication Committees

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board of directors voted today to support a requirement that furosemide only be administered on race day by regulatory veterinarians. The board also voted its support for the elimination of adjunct bleeder medications as well as enhanced security measures and a more severe penalty structure for medication violations.

NTRA President Alex Waldrop presented the recommendations of an RMTC committee studying the administration of furosemide and adjunct bleeder medications. In response to his report, the RMTC board voted to approve the committee’s recommendations and to develop a Model Rule. This Model Rule will be presented to the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) for implementation.

“This Model Rule is designed to cause the regulatory community to assume the responsibility for the race day administration of furosemide,” Waldrop said. “Administration of any other medications on race day, including adjunct bleeder medications, shall be strictly prohibited. These steps will eliminate the need for private veterinary involvement on race day.”

Alan Foreman, RMTC Vice Chairman and CEO of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Associations, presented a report on the work of the RMTC Penalty Guidelines Committee. At the recommendation of the committee, RMTC directors voted to:

  • Establish a June 1, 2012 deadline for racing commissions to revise the phenylbutazone threshold from 5 micrograms per milliliter to 2 micrograms per milliliter
  • Establish uniform penalty guidelines across racing jurisdictions
  • Change the current 365-day period for Category B prohibited drugs to “within two years in any jurisdiction” for a second violation and “within a five-year period in any jurisdiction” for a third violation
  • Develop a list of laboratory detection levels at which all positive tests in US racing will be called
  • Develop a list of approved therapeutic medications with appropriate corresponding withdrawal time guidelines

Chris Scherf, RMTC Vice Chairman and Thoroughbred Racing Associations Executive Vice President, provided a report from an RMTC committee studying the possibility of a pilot project to eliminate the use of furosemide in 2-year-olds; the committee will continue its work on this subject.

AAEP Racing Committee Chairman Dr. Scott Palmer reported on the Security and Surveillance Committee, which included a critical analysis of available security options and minimum standards recommended for increasing race day security. The committee will produce a model of best practices on security standards for consideration by the industry.

“The board approved a number of significant recommendations today,” said RMTC Chairman Dr. Robert Lewis. “All four committees were given expanded charges to continue their work. This was a very productive meeting, and we look forward to additional recommendations from these committees at our October 6 board meeting.”

In other business, the RMTC directors also heard an update from RMTC Project Manager Dr. Gregg Scoggins on the work of its Drug Testing Initiative (DTI) and ongoing therapeutic medication administration and threshold level research.

The RMTC consists of 25 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing. The organization works to develop and promote uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level; coordinate research and educational programs that seek to ensure the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants; and protect the interests of the racing public.

For additional information, visit the RMTC website at or contact Hallie Lewis, RMTC director of communications, at (859) 224-2848.