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RMTC Approves Tactical Research Projects


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The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board approved several measures and initiatives at its Feb. 11 meeting at Gulfstream Park. The board approved the funding of two tactical research projects that will cost more than $250,000.

One project will be aimed at developing an inexpensive screening method for detecting potential blood doping. The project will be completed at the University of California-Davis Kenneth L. Maddy Laboratory along with another project approved in 2017 that has already helped to improve the detection of EPO products.

“We are very excited about the potential of these advanced testing techniques to detect EPO administration,” said Dr. Rick Arthur, Equine Medical Director for the California Horse Racing Board. “With the 2017 RMTC grant, the Maddy lab has already greatly improved the industry’s EPO confirmation capabilities. Our expectations are that this second grant will enable the industry to close the circle and allow us to more effectively detect EPO micro-dosing.”

The second approved research project will be completed at the University of Florida Racing Laboratory with a focus on the detection of the nerve-blocking agent liposomal bupivacaine.

“The RMTC is excited to be spearheading efforts to fight the abuse of this nerve-blocking agent on the racetrack,” said RMTC Chair Alex Waldrop. “Each of the projects approved by the RMTC board this week represents significant advances that will benefit horse health as well as the integrity of racing. We anticipate no problem finding racing stakeholders who will help us fund them.”

The RMTC board also heard an update on a research project examining LGD-4300–on of the substances known as SARMS–which can have anabolic-like effects in racehorses.

“Preliminary results indicate that this research, funded by the RMTC as part of last year’s tactical research efforts, could lead to a broader method to control all anabolic-like substances in the horse,” said Dr. Dionne Benson, executive director of the RMTC. “The RMTC’s support of this and so many other tactical research projects is exciting, because each of them is crucial to the long-term health and vitality of horse racing.

The RMTC board also created a new subcommittee to study and develop potential research projects related to bisphosphonates as little is known about their effects on young racehorses. Educational pamphlets on the subject are expected to be released in the coming months.
The board also approved educational materials on the risks of compounded medication, nutraceuticals and cannabidiol (CBD). A bulletin on CBD is now available on the RMTC website and other pamphlets will be posted soon.

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