10/22/2007 11:00PM

Funding for track security dropped

EmailThe Racing Medication and Testing Consortium will no longer provide funding for special security teams that have been dispatched over the past three years to tracks holding high-profile races, the consortium's chairman, Dan Fick, said Tuesday.

The board of directors of the consortium made the decision to end the funding for the security unit, called the Big Event Team, during a two-day meeting Oct. 16-17. According to Fick, the decision was made to focus the consortium's limited funding on research into withdrawal times for commonly used medications and into developing tests for prohibited substances.

"It had gotten cost-prohibitive if we were going to continue doing a lot of research," Fick said.

The Big Event Team, which was dispatched to 42 events over the past three years, including the Breeders' Cup, will still be administered by the Thoroughbred Racing and Protective Bureau, Fick said, but racetracks will likely be asked to pay for the services. The TRPB is a racetrack-owned investigative company.

The consortium was formed in 2001 in order to devise and recommend uniform racing rules for adoption in racing states. In addition, the consortium has provided funding for research to develop tests to detect drugs and determine withdrawal times for medications.