12/22/2014 3:00PM

New York proposes points system for medication violations


The New York State Gaming Commission on Monday proposed a rule that would require specific minimum penalties for horsemen who commit multiple medication violations.

The proposed rule would result in suspensions of 30, 60, 180 or up to 365 days once a trainer reaches a certain points threshold. Points are accrued based on the classification of drug as outlined by the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

For example, under the proposal, the gaming commission would assign 2 points involving a drug or other substance classified as Class C.  Under the proposed rule, once a trainer has accumulated 3 to 5.5 points as a result of equine drug rule violations that trainer would receive a 30-day penalty on top of penalties already given for the infraction.

A 60-day penalty would be handed down once a licensee accumulates 6 to 8.5 points; 180 days for 9 to 10.5 points; and one year for a trainer who has accumulated 11 or more points.

“This rulemaking is recommended nationally by the Association of Racing Commissioners International and the concept has been widely supported by other non-governmental entities including New York Racing Association, Jockey Club and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association,” Robert Williams, executive director of the gaming commission, said Monday.

The rule will be submitted to the regulatory review unit of the state’s executive branch and then placed in the state register, which then opens it up for a 45-day comment period. The rule is likely to be up for adoption in the first or second quarter of 2015.

According to documents associated with the proposed rule, no points shall be assigned for any violations that occurred before Jan. 1, 2014.

Also Monday, the commission adopted previously proposed rules regarding the thresholds of 19 therapeutic medications used in Standardbred racing. The rules, which go into effect on April 1, 2015, are similar to those passed regarding 24 medications for use in Thoroughbred racing at the November meeting.

The rules include the prohibition of clenbuterol within 14 days before a Standardbred horse’s next race when a horse is returning from a layoff of 30 days or more. Standardbred horses that are racing regularly may be given clenbuterol up 96 hours before a race.

While clenbuterol has muscle-building qualities, the commission states “a Standardbred racing regularly does not have this opportunity to generate such muscle growth while complying with the Commission’s current restriction against administering clenbuterol within 96 hours before racing.”