July 12, 2007
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
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
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
• 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.
Deputy Director ®
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