West Virginia Okays Penalty System, Drug Thresholds

West Virginia Okays Penalty System, Drug Thresholds

The commission also approved adoption of the expanded "Schedule of Controlled Therapeutic Substances."

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

The West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) May 20 signed off on several new regulations, including one that will allow the state to participate in the multiple medication violation penalty system that is part of the National Uniform Medication Program.

The commission also approved adoption of the expanded "Schedule of Controlled Therapeutic Substances"—currently a list of 26 commonly used medications—and the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances.

In West Virginia, the state Legislature must approve such regulations. The new rules will be filed with the Secretary of State in advance of a public comment period; the earliest they can take effect, however, is 2015 during the next legislative session.

Kelli Talbott, WVRC senior deputy attorney general, said regulations were agreed upon by racing stakeholders during a May 6 meeting. She recommended to the racing commission the model rules be adopted verbatim.

Last year West Virginia adopted model rules as part of a Mid-Atlantic coalition seeking uniformity in the region and the country. Racing commission member Greg McDermott said the latest round of regulations is "certainly consistent with our previous efforts."

In a related matter, WVRC member Bill Phillips asked staff to put together information on laboratory accreditation and the status of investigators at the state's racetracks. He noted the issues were discussed during the recent RCI conference in Lexington, Kentucky.

"We heard the anti-doping message loud and clear at the RCI meeting," Phillips said. "I'd like to be informed as to our investigators (and their training). This is one area we should move up on our agenda."

Originally published on BloodHorse.com.

About the Author

Tom LaMarra

Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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