Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text

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Action:
To Amend Regulations Pertaining to Medication
Stage: Final
11VAC10-180-10

11VAC10-180-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Bleeder" means a horse that has been diagnosed as suffering from exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage based on external or endoscopic examination by a commission veterinarian or a practicing veterinarian who is a permit holder in the Commonwealth of Virginia or any other jurisdiction.

"Bleeder list" means a tabulation of all bleeders to be maintained by the stewards.

"Commission" means the Virginia Racing Commission.

"Controlled substance" means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through VI of the Virginia Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) or any substance included in the five classification schedules of the federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act (21 USC § 301 et seq.).

"Furosemide list" means a tabulation of horses permitted to use the medication of furosemide on race day by declaration to the stewards, in addition to horses on the bleeder list.

"Injectable substance" means a liquid or solid substance that may require the addition of a liquid via a needle and syringe to change it the substance from a solid into a liquid, contained in a vial that can be accessed and administered only via a needle and syringe.

"Licensed veterinarian" means a veterinarian who holds a valid license to practice veterinary medicine and surgery under the applicable laws of the jurisdiction in which such person's practice is principally conducted.

"Milkshaking" or "bicarbonate loading" means administering a bicarbonate or other alkalinizing substance to a horse that elevates the horse's total carbon dioxide level or pH level above those existing naturally in the untreated horse at normal physiological concentrations as determined by the commission, regardless of the means of administration.

"Permitted race day substances" means only substances approved by the commission that are (i) administered solely for the benefit and welfare of the horse, (ii) nonperformance altering, (iii) of no danger to riders/drivers riders or drivers, and (iv) unlikely to interfere with the detection of prohibited substances.

"Prescription substance" means any substance that is administered or dispensed or labeled for use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian for the purpose of medical treatment of an animal patient when a bona fide doctor-patient relationship has been established.

"Primary laboratory" means a facility accredited by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and designated by the commission for the testing of test samples.

"Prohibited substance" means any drug, medication, or chemical foreign to the natural horse, whether natural or synthetic, or a metabolite or analog thereof, the use of which is not expressly permitted by the regulations of the commission.

"Race day" means the 24-hour period before post time for the race in which the horse is entered to start.

"Reference laboratory" means a facility accredited by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and designated by the commission for the testing of split samples.

"Ship-in meet" means a limited meet, generally one, two, or three consecutive days of racing, to which the preponderance of horses ship in to race, leave after racing, and do not remain for daily training.

"Substance" means any drug, medication, or chemical foreign to the natural horse or human being, whether natural or synthetic, or a metabolite or analog thereof.

"Test sample" means any sample of blood, urine, saliva, or tissue obtained from a horse or person for the purpose of laboratory testing for the presence of substances.

"Tubing" means the administration to a horse of any substance via a naso-gastric tube.

11VAC10-180-35

11VAC10-180-35. Prohibited practices.

A. No trainer shall allow a horse to appear in a race, qualifying race, or official timed workout, when the horse contains in its system any prohibited substance, as determined by testing of blood, saliva, or urine, or any other reasonable means.

B. No person shall administer any prohibited substance to a horse on race day. Furosemide is the only substance specifically permitted for use in approved horses on race day.

C. No veterinarian or permit holder shall, without good cause, possess or administer any substance to a horse stabled within the enclosure or at any facility under the jurisdiction of the commission if the substance:

1. Has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any use (human or animal), or by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Veterinary Biologics;

2. Is on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's Schedule I or Schedule II of controlled substances as prepared by the Attorney General of the United States pursuant to 21 USC §§ 811 and 812;

3. May endanger the health and welfare of the horse or endanger the safety of the rider or driver, or may adversely affect the integrity of racing; or

4. Does not have a recognized laboratory analytical method to detect and confirm its administration.

D. No person, except a veterinarian holding a valid veterinarian's permit or an assistant under his the veterinarian's immediate supervision, shall have in his possession within the enclosure of a horse racing facility any prescription substance for animal use unless:

1. The person actually possesses, within the enclosure of the horse racing facility, documentary evidence that a prescription has been issued to him for the substance by a licensed veterinarian;

2. The prescription substance is labeled with a dosage for the horse or horses to be treated with the prescription substance; and

3. The horse or horses named in the prescription are then under the care and supervision of the permit holder and are then stabled within the enclosure of the horse racing facility.

E. The possession or administration of equine growth hormone, venoms, erythropoietin (Epogen), darbepoietin, oxyglobin, Hemopure, or any analogous substance that increases oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is prohibited. Furthermore, should the analysis of a test sample detect the presence of antibodies of erythropoietin or darbepoietin or any analogous substance in the horse's blood that indicates a history of use of these substances, the horse shall be prohibited from racing and placed on the veterinarian's list until the horse tests negative for the presence of such antibodies.

F. The use of androgenic and anabolic steroids is prohibited in racing horses as stipulated in 11VAC10-180-75.

G. The use of an extracorporal extracorporeal shockwave therapy device or radial pulse wave therapy device is prohibited on the racetrack premises and at any site that falls under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Racing Commission unless:

1. The therapy device is registered with the commission veterinarian;

2. The therapy device is used by a veterinarian who is a permit holder; and

3. Each use of the therapy device is reported to the commission veterinarian on the treatment report.

Notwithstanding the provisions above in this subsection, whether on or off the premises, a shockwave therapy device or radial pulse wave therapy device shall not be used on a racehorse fewer than 10 days before the horse is to race or train at racing speed. For the purposes of this calculation, the day of treatment shall be considered day one.

H. Tubing of horses prohibited. The tubing or dosing of any horse for any reason on race day is prohibited, unless administered for medical emergency purposes by a licensed veterinarian in which case the horse shall be scratched. The practice of administration of any substance, via a tube or other method, into a horse's stomach on race day is considered a violation of this chapter.

1. Using or possessing the ingredients or the paraphernalia associated with forced feeding to a horse of any alkalinizing agent with or without a concentrated form of carbohydrate, or administering any substance by tubing or other method on race day shall be considered a violation of this chapter.

2. Under the provisions of this subsection, endoscopic examination by a licensed veterinarian shall not be considered a violation of this chapter.

I. Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter, no substance of any kind may be administered to a horse within four hours, or three hours for a ship-in meet, of the scheduled post time for the race in which the horse is entered. To ensure uniform supervision and conformity to this regulation this chapter, the trainer shall have each horse programmed to race stabled in its assigned stall within the enclosure of the horse race facility no fewer than five hours, or four hours for a ship-in meet, prior to post time for the respective race.

J. Intra-articular injections prohibited. Injecting any substance or inserting a needle into a joint space is prohibited within seven days prior to the horse's race.

K. Peri-neural injections prohibited. Injecting a local anesthetic or other chemical agent adjacent to a nerve is prohibited within three days prior to the horse's race.

L. Hyperbaric oxygen chamber prohibited. Subjecting a horse to therapy utilizing a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is prohibited within four days prior to the horse's race.

11VAC10-180-70

11VAC10-180-70. Phenylbutazone, flunixin, and other NSAIDs nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

A. Generally. By this regulation, the Virginia Racing Commission prohibits the The use of multiple NSAIDs nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in a horse on any given day (stacking) within 96 hours prior to the horse's race is prohibited. Despite this prohibition of stacking, this regulation chapter specifically permits the use of one of either the following: (i) phenylbutazone, (ii) flunixin, or (iii) ketoprofen, (iv) firocoxib, or (v) diclofenac in racehorses in the quantities provided for in this chapter.

B. Quantitative testing. Any horse to which phenylbutazone, flunixin, or ketoprofen has been administered shall be subject to testing at the direction of the commission veterinarian to determine the quantitative levels of phenylbutazone, flunixin, and ketoprofen, firocoxib, or diclofenac, or the presence of other substances that may be present.

C. Disciplinary actions. The stewards may take disciplinary actions for reports of quantitative testing by the primary testing laboratory for levels of (i) phenylbutazone quantified at levels above 2.0 micrograms per milliliter of serum or plasma, (ii) flunixin quantified at levels above 20 ng per milliliter of serum or plasma, or (iii) ketoprofen quantified at levels above 2.0 ng per milliliter of serum or plasma, (iv) firocoxib quantified at levels above 20 ng per milliliter in serum or plasma, and (v) diclofenac quantified at levels above 5.0 ng per milliliter in serum or plasma in horses following races, qualifying races, and official timed workouts for the stewards or commission veterinarian, and. The stewards may use the most recent revision of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and the Multiple Violations Penalty System as a guide. The stewards, in their discretion, may impose other more stringent disciplinary actions against trainers or other permit holders who violate the provisions under which (i) phenylbutazone, (ii) flunixin, or (iii) ketoprofen, (iv) firocoxib, or (v) diclofenac is permitted by the commission.

11VAC10-180-75

11VAC10-180-75. Androgenic and anabolic steroids.

A. All androgenic and anabolic steroids, natural or synthetic, are prohibited in racing horses, except as provided in this section.

B. Residues of the major metabolite of stanozolol, nandrolone, boldenone, and testosterone at concentrations less than the thresholds indicated in this section are permitted in test samples collected from racing horses.

C. Concentrations of these substances identified in subsection B of this section shall not exceed the following threshold concentrations:

1. Stanozolol – 100 pg/ml in serum or plasma for all horses regardless of gender.

2. Boldenone – 100 pg/ml in serum or plasma for all horses regardless of gender.

3. Nandrolone.

a. 100 pg/ml in serum or plasma in geldings, fillies, and mares.

b. Male horses other than geldings will not be tested for nandrolone.

4. Testosterone.

a. 100 pg/ml in serum or plasma in geldings, fillies, and mares.

b. Male horses other than geldings will not be tested for testosterone.

D. The presence of more than one of the four substances identified in subsection B of this section at concentrations greater than the individual thresholds indicated in subsection C of this section or a combination of any two or more substances recognized as androgenic or anabolic is prohibited.

E. The gender of each horse must be so identified for test samples submitted to the laboratory.

F. Any horse administered an androgenic or anabolic steroid to assist in the recovery from illness or injury may be placed on the veterinarian's list in order to monitor the concentration of the drug in serum or plasma. After the concentration has fallen below the designated threshold, the horse is eligible to be removed from the list.

G. The stewards may take disciplinary actions for reports of quantitative testing by the primary testing laboratory indicating the presence of one or more androgenic or anabolic steroid at concentrations above the individual thresholds indicated in subsection C of this section and may use the most recent revision of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and the Multiple Violations Penalty System as a guide.

11VAC10-180-90

11VAC10-180-90. Bicarbonate testing.

A. Generally. By this regulation, the Virginia Racing Commission prohibits the The feeding or administration to a horse on race day of any bicarbonate-containing substance or other alkalinizing substance that effectively alters the serum or plasma pH or concentration of bicarbonates or carbon dioxide in the horse is prohibited.

B. Test values. A serum or plasma total carbon dioxide level exceeding 37.0 millimoles per liter constitutes a positive test.

C. Testing procedure. The stewards or commission veterinarian may, at their discretion and at any time, order the collection of test samples from any horses horse present within the enclosure for determination of serum or plasma pH or concentration of bicarbonate, carbon dioxide, or electrolytes. Preracing testing or post-race testing may be done at a time and manner directed by the commission veterinarian. Whether prerace or post-race, the sample shall consist of at least two blood tubes taken from the horse to determine the serum or plasma total carbon dioxide concentration. If the chief racing chemist finds that the total carbon dioxide levels in the tubes sample exceed the standard test values of 37.0 millimoles per liter, then he shall inform the stewards commission veterinarian of the positive test results.

D. Split samples prohibited. The procedures for split sample testing shall not apply to bicarbonate testing procedures.

E. Disciplinary actions. The stewards shall, absent mitigating circumstances specifically noted in their findings, impose the following disciplinary action for violation of this section:

1. First offense: $2,500 fine and 90-day suspension; loss of purse.

2. Second offense: $5,000 fine and 180-day suspension; loss of purse.

3. Third offense: Revocation of license.

The stewards also may refer the case to the commission for further disciplinary action.

11VAC10-180-100

11VAC10-180-100. Collection of samples.

A. Test barn. Test samples shall be collected in the test barn under the supervision of the commission veterinarian or his designee. The commission veterinarian may, at his discretion, permit test samples to be collected in the horse's stall or any other location he the commission veterinarian deems appropriate. Under these circumstances, the commission veterinarian shall maintain a written record of his decision.

B. Horses to be tested. The stewards or commission veterinarian may, at any time, order the taking of test samples from any horse stabled within the enclosure of the horse racing facility, prior to racing or after racing including qualifying races and official timed workouts for the stewards or commission veterinarian. However, the stewards shall designate at least one horse from each race for the collection of test samples.

C. Collection procedure.

1. The trainer or a permit holder designated by the trainer shall accompany the horse to the test barn and witness the collection and splitting of the samples. The trainer or permit holder designated by the trainer shall cooperate with the commission veterinarian and the commission's veterinary technicians in the performance of their duties. The trainer or permit holder designated by the trainer must remain with the horse until the horse is released from the test barn.

2. Horses, from which samples are to be collected, shall be escorted, following the race, directly to the test barn by the commission's veterinary technicians, and the horses shall remain in the test barn until released by the commission veterinarian, his designee, or the test barn supervisor.

3. Stable equipment, other than common necessities for washing and cooling out a horse, is prohibited in the test barn. A practicing veterinarian may attend a horse in the test barn only in the presence of the commission veterinarian or the commission's veterinary technicians.

4. During the collection of test samples, the owner or trainer, or an assistant designated by the owner or trainer, shall be present and witness the collection of the test sample, the splitting of the sample, and sealing of containers. In the case of a claimed horse, the owner or trainer, or an assistant designated by the owner or trainer in whose name the horse started, shall be present to witness the collection of the test samples.

5. The test and split samples collected from a horse shall have identification tags affixed. One portion of the tag, bearing a printed identification number, shall remain with the sealed test and split samples, and the other portion of the tag bearing the same printed identification numbers shall be detached in the presence of the witness. The commission veterinarian or his designee shall on the detached portion of the tags identify the horse from which the test and split samples were collected, the race and date, and other information deemed appropriate. The detached portion of the tag shall be witnessed by the trainer or a permit holder designated by the trainer, and shall be retained by the commission veterinarian for safekeeping.

6. A horse's identity shall be confirmed by examining its lip-tattoo, number digital tattoo, microchip, or for a Standardbred, its freeze brand number. A horse that has not been lip-tattooed or a Standardbred that has not been freeze branded properly identified using any of these methods shall be reported immediately to the stewards.

7. If, after a horse remains for a reasonable time in the test barn, a test sample of urine cannot be collected from the horse, the commission veterinarian may, at his discretion, collect a test sample of blood or permit the horse to be returned to its barn where a test sample may be collected under the supervision of the commission veterinarian or the commission's veterinary technicians.

11VAC10-180-110

11VAC10-180-110. Laboratory findings and reports.

A. Primary testing laboratory. The commission shall designate a primary testing laboratory for the analysis of test samples collected under the supervision of the commission veterinarian. The commission shall designate a chief racing chemist within the primary testing laboratory who shall have the authority to report his findings to the executive secretary of the commission, the stewards, and the commission veterinarian.

B. Reference laboratories. The commission shall designate one or more laboratories, other than the primary testing laboratory, as references laboratories. These laboratories will conduct confirmatory analysis of split samples. Any reference laboratory must be willing to accept split samples for confirmatory testing. Any reference laboratory shall send results to both the person requesting the testing and the commission.

C. Chief racing chemist's responsibilities. The chief racing chemist shall be responsible for (i) safeguarding and analyzing the test samples delivered to the primary testing laboratory. It shall be the chief racing chemist's responsibility to maintain, (ii) proper maintenance of equipment, (iii) adequate staffing, and (iv) acceptable procedures to thoroughly and accurately analyze test samples submitted to the primary testing laboratory.

D. Reporting procedures. The chief racing chemist shall submit to the commission veterinarian a written report as to each test sample analyzed, indicating by identification tag number whether the test sample was negative or there was a chemical identification. All confirmed positive identifications shall be submitted to the executive secretary, the stewards, and the commission veterinarian.

E. Chemical identifications. If the chief racing chemist determines that there is present in the test sample a substance or metabolites of a substance foreign to the natural horse, except those specifically permitted by the regulations of the commission, he is present in the test sample, the chief racing chemist shall submit a report of chemical identification to the executive secretary of the commission, the stewards, and the commission veterinarian. In a report of chemical identification, the chief racing chemist shall submit evidence acceptable in the scientific community and admissible in court in support of his determination.

F. Review of chemical identifications. Upon receipt of a report of a chemical identification from the chief racing chemist, the stewards shall conduct a review of the chemical identification, which shall include, but not be limited to, the chief racing chemist and the commission veterinarian. During the review, the following procedures shall apply:

1. All references to the report of a chemical identification shall be only by the identification tag number of the sample collected from the horse;

2. The chief racing chemist shall submit his written report of the chemical identification and the evidence supporting his finding;

3. The commission veterinarian shall submit a written statement to the stewards including, but not limited to, the class of the substance, the concentration level detected in the sample, if determined, and its probable effect on a racehorse;

4. The stewards may ask questions at any time and request further documentation as they deem necessary;

5. After receiving the appropriate information on the identified substance, the stewards shall determine whether the chemical identification constitutes a violation of the regulations of the commission and whether it should be deemed a positive test result. In doing so, the stewards shall consider, among other things, the concentration level reported, its likely effect on the horse, and whether environmental contamination may have contributed to the test result;

6. In the event of a positive test result, the stewards shall notify the trainer and the owner of the horse of the right to send the split sample collected from the horse to one of the reference laboratories, designated by the commission, for confirmatory testing;

7. If the trainer or the owner elects to send the split sample to a reference laboratory, the stewards shall take no disciplinary action against any permit holder until the results from the reference laboratory are received, and the findings shall be a part of the record of any subsequent hearing; and

8. The chief racing chemist's report of a chemical identification, the commission veterinarian's written statement, the results of confirmatory testing, and any other documentation submitted to the stewards shall become part of the record of any subsequent proceedings; and

9. Should the split sample not be tested by the reference laboratory due to any reason out of the commission's control, then the stewards shall hear the case based on the results of the primary testing laboratory.

G. A horse from which a positive test sample was collected may be placed on the steward's list until the stewards have made a final determination in the matter. The horse shall not be immune from resulting disciplinary action by the stewards or the commission.

H. Frozen samples. Unconsumed portions of all test samples tested by the primary testing laboratory will shall be maintained in a frozen state until cleared by the chief racing chemist and permission for their disposal is obtained from the Senior Commonwealth Steward, the Equine Medical Director, or the Executive Secretary.

I. Split samples. The commission veterinarian or his designee shall determine a minimum test sample requirement for the primary testing laboratory. If the test sample collected is less than the minimum requirement, then the entire test sample shall be sent to the primary laboratory.

If the sample collected is greater than the minimum sample requirement but less than twice that amount, the portion of the test sample that is greater than the minimum test sample requirement shall be secured as the split sample.

If the test sample collected is greater than twice the minimum test sample requirement, a portion of the sample approximately equal to the test sample shipped to the primary testing laboratory shall be secured as the split sample.

J. Storage of split samples. Split samples shall be shipped to the testing laboratory with the primary samples. The testing laboratory shall maintain the split samples in a secure and frozen state and when requested by the commission, make the split samples available for further testing, in accordance with standard protocols for maintaining the chain of evidence. Split samples shall be so maintained at the testing laboratory until permission for their release and disposal is obtained from the Senior Commonwealth Steward, the Equine Medical Director, or the Executive Secretary.

K. Shipment of split samples. The trainer or owner of the horse having been notified of a positive test result may request that the split sample be shipped to one of the reference laboratories designated by the commission. The request must be made in writing and received by the commission not later than three business days after the trainer of the horse receives notification of the positive findings. The split sample shall be shipped to the requested reference laboratory by the testing laboratory. The owner, trainer, or designee shall travel to the storage facility of the testing laboratory to witness the removal, packaging, and shipping procedure unless he has waived this opportunity in writing. Failure of the trainer, owner, or designee to appear at the designated time and place, or otherwise attempting to interfere with the shipment of the split sample or payment of the costs, shall constitute a waiver of all rights to the testing of this split sample. The cost of shipment and additional testing shall be paid in a manner satisfactory to the commission by the permit holder requesting the testing of the split sample. Upon the expiration of this three-day period, the trainer or owner relinquishes his right to request a split sample.