Tuesday, December 06, 2016
Contact: Bob Curran Jr. (212) 521-5326
Statement from James L. Gagliano, president and COO, on MMV Penalty System Changes
“In the wake of a recently published report about prospective changes that would weaken the penalties of the Multiple Medication Violation (MMV) Penalty System, The Jockey Club states its continuing opposition to such changes and requests that the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium (RMTC) consider withdrawing those changes before they are presented to the Association of Racing Commissioners International on Thursday, December 8, 2016.
“The Jockey Club collaborated with several other industry organizations affiliated with the RMTC in the original design of the MMV Penalty System, and we all shared a common goal: the creation of a consistent and fair system of penalties that would punish repeat violators and act as a deterrent to discourage such behavior. The proposed changes would eliminate points for the lowest penalty category and reduce both the number of suspension days and the time period points would stay on a horseman’s record.
“The industry has long struggled to create and implement national uniform rules of drug testing and enforcement. Weakening the penalties that were designed to reduce the frequency of repeat offenses is a step in the wrong direction.
“We also understand from the same published report that there is now a proposed compromise to reclassify certain drugs from class C to class B. This compromise needs to be more comprehensively examined by an RMTC committee, using the detail of the regulatory rulings database (thoroughbredrulings.com). Any changes to the MMV Penalty System need to be considered as a whole — not piecemeal — with the ultimate result of its being an effective deterrent.
“Repeated polling has affirmed that our sport is struggling against a strong negative public perception, due in large part to lax drug regulation. The Jockey Club urges our fellow members of the RMTC to reconsider the proposed changes to the MMV Penalty System at this time. We need stronger penalties, not watered down ones.”