Writing at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, former longtime Indiana Horse Racing Commission executive director Joe Gorajec asks why racing regulators in the United States keep horsemen and the public in the dark about out-of-competition drug testing.
California and Delaware regulators publish information about out-of-competition testing in their annual reports, but getting similar statistics from other states is “like pulling teeth,” Gorajec writes. The responsibility falls on the Association of Racing Commissioners International to collect and share such information, Gorajec said, but efforts by him to extract information from the trade association has gone into a black hole.
“Maybe the RCI is simply embarrassed by the lack of testing in some states and doesn’t want to put some of its member commissions in a bad light,” writes Gorajec. “Who knows, maybe it didn’t even bother to collect this information, knowing it might illicit a negative response.”
Gorajec points out that the British Horseracing Authority makes the information easy to find in its annual report and that the United States Anti-Doping Agency website updates testing statistics for human sports on a quarterly basis.
The U.S. lags far behind other racing countries in the percentage of out-of-competition testing being done, based on the best estimates. Only 2 percent of all drug tests for U.S. racing are out of competition, compared to 14 percent in the United Kingdom, 11 percent in France and 10 percent in Hong Kong.
“Only by highlighting the growth and change in out-of-competition testing over time can we determine if we are being well served by the regulators who are the guardians of the integrity of our sport,” Gorajec writes.
“Simply stated, it’s about accountability.”
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