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World racing boss urges uniformity over drugs in US

IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet said "the integrity of racing and horse welfare are absolute priorities."

IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet

International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) chairman Louis Romanet has pledged his support for a uniform medication program in the US.

Speaking after the Jockey Club’s 62nd Annual Round Table Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, Romanet urged the implementation of the National Uniform Medication Program as quickly as possible by state racing commissions, and commend those that had already introduced the program.

“I offer my sincerest praise to the North American trainers who have endorsed a phase out of race-day medication. The elimination of race day medication would further bring the United States and Canada into harmonization with the rest of the racing world. Most importantly, however, it will reinforce the quality and fairness of racing in the interest of both the breed and the public in North America. It is critical that we maintain global public confidence in the integrity of racing and breeding,” Romanet said.

He also said it was encouraging to see organisations, such as The Stronach Group, take a leadership role in medication reform. “Racetracks are a critical component in the reform process, and I encourage all racetrack operators to collectively work together to apply means seeking uniformity and to eliminate the administration of race-day medication.”

Romanet also applauded The Jockey Club and its chairman Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps, and president and chief operating officer, James Gagliano, and reiterate the IFHA’s strong endorsement of efforts to implement uniformity of rules, increase and enhance out of competition testing, and improve lab proficiency and standards, and penalties.

Phipps will give a progress report on the measures when he is keynote speaker of the annual IFHA Conference in Paris in October. There, and at the International Conference of Racing Analysts and Veterinarians, Romanet would encourage participants “to examine many areas of harmonization and reform – namely increased lab proficiency standards and out of competition testing”.

“It remains critical that all racing stakeholders, both in North America and throughout the world, move forward with medication reform to ensure the integrity, welfare, and fairness of our great sport.”

 

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