RMTC advances regulations on NSAIDs, intra-articular injections

Posted: Nov. 20, 2019

In advance of the Association of Racing Commissioners International meeting in December, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has advanced proposed regulations regarding non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and intra-articular injections.

The RMTC Board of Directors, which met by phone Nov. 15, recommended a 48-hour restricted administration time for all NSAIDs. Currently, one NSAID, usually phenylbutazone, is permitted between 24 and 48 hours of a race. The RMTC also voted that the detection of more than one NSAID would constitute a “stacking” violation—in addition to the violation associated with the detection of each additional NSAID.

“The administration of multiple NSAIDs is a welfare and safety concern for our equine and human athletes,” said Dr. Rick Arthur, a RMTC Scientific Advisory Committee member and Equine Medical Director for the California Horse Racing Board. “The adoption of the restricted administration time essentially aligns us with international standards and eliminates the co-administration of NSAIDs prior to a race.”

The RMTC affirmed the position of the committee that additional constraints on intra-articular injections are warranted, including a mandatory 14-day stand-down period following all such injections, as well as a prohibition on stacking of corticosteroids in which the detection of more than one corticosteroid would be a violation.

The regulations would bring the United States in line with Europe, where a 14-day stand-down has been in effect.

RMTC Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Mary Scollay said that to facilitate compliance, the RMTC will provide horsemen with expanded withdrawal guidance for NSAIDs and corticosteroids.

The proposed regulations have been forwarded to ARCI for consideration as model rules.

NSAID model rule is available here.

NSAID penalty schedule is available here.

Intra-articular injection model rule is available here.

Intra-articular injection penalty schedule is available here.