Posted: Feb. 15, 2018
The University of Florida Racing Laboratory Feb. 13 received interim accreditation from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, leaving only one United States lab—the Louisiana State University Analytical Systems Laboratory—without accreditation when it comes to testing samples for Thoroughbred racing.
The RMTC said the Florida lab is poised to become the 10th to earn full accreditation, which is one of four components of the National Uniform Medication Program. The lab conducts tests on samples taken from Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Quarter Horses in Florida.
The number of labs in U.S. racing has dropped from 20 before the RMTC accreditation program was launched to 13. Along with Louisiana State, which hasn’t yet applied for accreditation, labs that test Standardbred samples in Delaware—the state has two racing commissions—and Quarter Horse samples in South Dakota aren’t accredited.
Accredited and interim-accredited labs test samples for 32 jurisdictions: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.
“The addition of the Florida Racing Laboratory marks a milestone in the RMTC accreditation program, as we are now very close to full RMTC accreditation of every horseracing testing laboratory in the United States,” RMTC Executive Director Dr. Dionne Benson said. “The addition of the Florida laboratory would not have been possible without support and assistance from The Stronach Group, the Florida HBPA, the Florida Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, the Florida Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering and the University of Florida Racing Laboratory’s leadership.”
RMTC-accredited labs are required to participate in multiple rounds of quality assurance program testing prior to accreditation and each year after accreditation. The quality assurance program acts as a check on the labs to ensure they are able to detect and quantify substances of concern in horse racing.
“RMTC accreditation ensures that laboratories can consistently and reliably detect a wide variety of substances at low concentrations, which is a key to providing a racing product in the U.S. that is safe and fair,” said RMTC Chair Alex Waldrop, President of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. “The progress of the RMTC laboratory accreditation program underscores the effectiveness of the RMTC in promoting laboratory proficiency and uniformity across the racing industry.”