Notice to the Industry Medication Control Task Force asks:
“What’s inside your vehicle? Know the rules and your responsibility.”
Recent seizures of medications at Ontario tracks indicate some licensees are unaware of medication control rules and their responsibilities under the Rules of Racing. While investigations are underway as to the source, identity and purpose of the medications in these instances, all licensees need to be aware of the implications of carrying or storing medications. Licensees – especially those directly responsible for the care of the horse – should only acquire, be in a possession of, and use medications or products that are clearly labeled, have been prescribed by a licensed veterinarian or obtained from a distributor or supplier licensed or authorized to sell these products. Also, if you are storing or carrying medication of any kind, know what it is and have the appropriate documentation. If the medication is for your personal use and requires a prescription, be sure to carry that information with you. The industry-funded ORC Equine Medication Control and Drug Task Force is stepping up its efforts to break the unintentional or deliberate use of illegal medications – known as the Substance Abuse Cycle. Working with track security, the Task Force has uncovered a number of unknown or questionable medications during vehicle searches.
• In late May, at Mohawk, a Task Force search of a trailer entering the track revealed an open bottle of Ephedrine. Ephedrine is commonly used as a stimulant and is similar in structure to the synthetic derivatives amphetamine and methamphetamine. • Early in June at Hiawatha Horse Park, Task Force members found a total of 80 unidentified “diet pills” in the storage compartment of a pick-up truck. The content and source of these pills is under analysis. • At Sudbury Downs later that month, a Task Force investigation discovered an open box of what was purported to be Viagra®. Two of the pills were in sealed foil packages with the manufacturer’s stamp; the other eight pills were similar in shape and colour but with no stamp or marking. An investigation is ongoing.
• Also at the end of June, at Woodbine, Task Force members and ORC Investigators conducted a search of vehicles owned by veterinarians. In one vehicle, 2 X100 cc unlabeled bottles were seized. One contained approximately 30cc of a red fluid substance; the other contained approximately 25 cc of a crystal-like substance. • Earlier this month at Mohawk, ORC Investigators assisted WEG investigators in a search of a vehicle entering the track. Syringes, needles and a vial of Cobratoxin (Cobra venom) were seized.
All those licensed to work in the industry are required to act in the best interests of the horses in their care, as well as to act in accordance with law, integrity and the public interest. Under the Rules of Racing, trainers have a clear and direct responsibility not to administer any medications or products that may harm the horse or take any action that may harm the horse. ORC Judges and Stewards have the responsibility, digression and authority to take actions to protect the health of the horse and the best interests of racing. Horse people, owners, trainers, bettors, and the general public want an industry that is fair, competitive and played by the rules. These rules include licensees having full knowledge of what is being carried or stored in trucks, trailers and other vehicles. Rob McKinney Deputy Director ®registered trademark owned by Pfizer.
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