Final approval for a Multiple Violation Penalty (MVP) model rule has been given by the board of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium in the United States.
It has forwarded it to the Association of Racing Commissioners International for consideration at its meeting in Saratoga on July 30-31.
The MVP model rule represents an industry-wide plan to provide appropriate penalties for serious or accumulated violations of medication regulations.
The consortium says it is another important step toward enacting a new comprehensive medication and testing regulatory system for North American racing.
Highlights of the model rule are:
- It is a point-based system. All medication violations will be assigned points.
- Point values are based on the RCI Uniform Classification of Drugs (1-5) and Penalty Classification (A-D).
- Violations involving the newly approved Controlled Therapeutic Medications will receive fewer points than those for the non-controlled or prohibited substances. (Controlled Therapeutic Medications are listed in the RCI Model Rule as medications suitable for horses in training, for which trace levels may be detected in post-race testing – those levels being below having any effect on race day.)
- Trainers accumulating a predetermined number of points will be required to serve an additional mandatory suspension.
- Mandatory suspensions may be incurred for as few as two medication violations depending on the category.
- Suspensions resulting from the MVP system range from 30-360 days.
- Violations in all jurisdictions will be combined and the MVP system requires. stewards/commissions in respective jurisdictions must consider a trainer’s entire point record.
- Licensees will have the ability to have points incurred in lesser therapeutic categories expunged from their record after defined durations.
Consortium chairman Dr Bobby Lewis said the MVP system was in response to the industry’s desire to eliminate broad disparities in penalties across the various jurisdictions and to create a penalty system that was an effective deterrent against intentional violation of medication rules to gain unfair advantage in racing.
“The RMTC board believes these suggested guidelines are a big step in that direction,” he said.
Consortium executive director Dr Dionne Benson said: “The MVP model rule is the result of two years of work by the RMTC Penalties Subcommittee.
“The concerns of all interested parties were heard and discussed extensively during that time. The resulting rule represents a reasonable and straightforward method for addressing the issue of repeat medication violations.”
The consortium comprises 24 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent thoroughbred, standardbred, American quarter horse and Arabian racing interests.
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.