RCI Creates Scientific Advisory Board

Organization invites merger with RMTC.

Press Release

The RCI has created a scientific advisory board.

The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) has voted to create a permanent scientific advisory board to develop recommendations upon which anti-doping programs are conducted, modeled in part after the process conducted in human sport by the Partnership for Clean Competition.

“The RCI Board believes the advisory process on racing medication and anti-doping policy can be strengthened and redundancies eliminated,” RCI Chairman John T. Ward, Jr. said. “As regulators, we have the exclusive responsibility to make and enforce the rules and given current challenges we believe it is time to restructure the advisory process to make it stronger.”

The action was prompted by numerous factors: functional concerns about the current scientific advisory process, transparency, non-participation of key experts, and the withdrawal of the United States Trotting Association from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC).

Regulators from twenty-one major racing jurisdictions directed RCI President Ed Martin to send a formal letter to the RMTC, proposing a partial or complete merger of the organization into a reconstituted RCI Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee.

“Given the economic challenges faced by the racing industry, we believe any effort to eliminate redundancies and simplify processes is the right way to go,” Martin said.

Should the RMTC accept an invitation to merge, it would not be the first time that RCI has worked to effectuate a racing industry merger. In 2005, the North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association merged with RCI. “Today, our collective effort is stronger, more professional, and effective than when we had two groups,” Martin wrote.

“The current policy formation process has seven steps. We think that can be cut to five,” Martin said.

Membership on the Scientific Advisory Board is by appointment of the RCI Chairperson. Information as to its membership will be posted on the RCI website when fully constituted.

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