NYSGC to consider multiple regulations on equine medication

Posted: Jan. 21, 2017

The New York State Gaming Commission Jan. 23 will consider approval of several medication-related regulations, including updated national model rules on out-of-competition testing and the Multiple Medication Violation Penalty System.

If approved, the regulations will be subject to the customary comment period. Staff letters note the model rules received widespread support before they were approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International in December 2016.

The revised MMV Penalty System, part of the National Uniform Medication Program, maintains sanctions for the most serious violations and is designed to facilitate widespread adoption of the rule in U.S. racing jurisdictions.

“Several racing jurisdictions, including New York and New Jersey, traditionally impose more serious equine drug penalties than some others,” NYSGC General Counsel Edmund Burns wrote in a memorandum. “New York’s MMV rules include explicit provisions that allow the imposition of more serious penalties than the model MMV rule pursuant to New York’s evaluation of prior violations. The New York rule would not allow the MMV penalty enhancement when our penalty for a precipitating rule violation includes a comparable consideration of such prior violations.

“The proposed revisions will appropriately focus the MMV system on those who consistently violate serious medication and anti-doping rules and assist in developing national consistency in regard to punishment.”

Maryland and Delaware already have begun the process to adopt the MMV Penalty System revisions. The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission has the matter on its meeting agenda for Jan. 26.

The NYSGC also will consider adoption of the ARCI Prohibited List, which is used in conjunction with the out-of-competition testing rule.

“For commission consideration are proposed rules to prohibit in Thoroughbred horse racing the substances that the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibits at all times unless an athlete has a restricted therapeutic use (RTU) exemption, based on RTUs that are appropriate for horse racing; to require that no drug may be administered to a horse engaged in horse racing activities unless recommended by an attending veterinarian; and to prohibit the experimental use of performance-altering substances on racehorses,” Burns wrote.

Another item on the Jan. 23 agenda is a rule Burns said would strengthen regulation of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, or bleeding in the lungs. The proposed rule requires trainers to keep a record of “serious” episodes of EIPH, which is graded on a scale of one to four.

“In general, the most salient portions of the rule proposal requires that a horse that has experienced a serious EIPH episode must be subjected to another endoscopic examination following the horse’s next race or workout and requires trainers to provide such information to subsequent owners (or their agents or trainers) within 48 hours of a request for the information, unless the commission has collected and provided the information itself,” Burns wrote in his overview of the rule. “The proposal would also codify the standard practice of excluding a horse that experiences epistaxis for specific minimum time periods.”

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and New York Racing Association both suggested that exclusion periods due to excessive EIPH follow the ARCI model rule.

“NYTHA also raised concern in regard to enforcement of any reporting requirement, suggesting that horses shipping into New York would be difficult to patrol,” Burns said. “NYTHA suggested the Commission work with ARCI and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium to establish a national protocol and rule. Commission staff believes the commission should proceed with this proposal while encouraging other states to follow suit.

“Note that the commission pioneered corticosteroid joint administration reporting, which has since been replicated in other jurisdictions.”

Burns also said NYSGC staff agrees with a NYRA suggestion for creation of an equine steroid administration log; that proposal would be considered at a later date.

Requirements for a trainer medication log, a proposal that sprung from the New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety in 2012, also is on the meeting agenda. NYTHA and NYRA both weighed on the proposal when it was first circulated.

“NYRA raised concern with the rule as being impractical, suggesting that few trainers would adhere to the requirement,” Burns said. “NYRA suggested the commission develop a rule proposal that enjoys national, uniform support. NYTHA suggested no concern with the record-keeping requirements, provided that the proposal did not interfere with the administration of non-injectable substances a trainer might need to administer in emergency situations when veterinarians are not available.”

The rule reads as follows:

“Trainers shall maintain an accurate record of every administration of a drug, except a drug that is classified by the Association of Racing Commissioners International as a Class 5 substance and is not injected, that is implemented by the trainer and is not recorded in detail in practicing veterinary records. This includes without limitation drugs that a veterinarian has dispensed for administration by or at the direction of the trainer and does not include drugs administered directly by the veterinarian or administrations the trainer verifies are recorded in detail in veterinary records.

“Such trainer’s records shall detail the name of the horse, the drug, the dose, the route of administration and the date and time (e.g., morning, breakfast) of administration and shall be kept in a form approved by the commission and shall be available for inspection by the commission for a minimum of six months.”

The NYSGC meeting packet is available here.