Among the many complaints leveled at racing’s regulatory bodies — specifically state racing commissions — one of the most serious is that trainers with multiple medication or drug violations get off too easy. With a model rule passed on July 31 in Saratoga, the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) hopes to bring those complaints to an end.
Under ARCI-011-020: Medications and Prohibited Substances, violators would begin to accumulate points for each violation, and once they reached a certain number of points, they would be subject to automatic, consistent penalties in addition to the ones assessed by their local racing commissions.
“This is an important step toward creating an additional deterrent to those who deliberately violate our rules or are persistently sloppy in the administration of medications,” said RCI president Edward Martin.
The system is similar to the one in place at many motor vehicle departments in which drivers accumulate points and additional penalties for each moving violation they incur. While it will be up to each state to adopt the point system the ARCI has developed, the actions earlier this year by Mid-Atlantic states to adopt uniform medication policies included the implication that the final penalty system would include a points structure and suggest that widespread adoption of the model rule is likely.
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