UPDATE: July 3, 2020 – This matter is open for industry comment. Comments should be directed to A special meeting of the Model Rules Committee will be convened to discuss this in early August, 2020.

UPDATE: On March 12, 2020, the Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee made final recommendations on revisions to the Penalty Guidelines consistent with the tasks assigned by the ARCI Board of Directors at its December, 2019 meeting.

At that time the RCI Board voted to approve tough new penalties for the most egregious violations in principle, but remanded the matter to the Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee to consider ways to simplify the approach. A streamlined proposal was considered and modified by the DTSP Committee at its March 12, 2020 meeting. That proposal is contained in the memo below.

The Substance specific charts are being circulated to the RMTC and the HRMC as well as other industry organizations. Substance specific comments or alternate proposals should be submitted no later than July 1, 2020. Comments or alternate proposals may be submitted by email at

Prior Information: The Drug Testing Standards and Practices (DTSP) Committee has released for consideration Proposed Revised Penalty Guidelines for violations of the anti-doping or medication rules in horse racing.   

Penalties for “Doping or Equine Endangerment” violations would be effectively doubled from the existing Class A penalties, with a first violation requiring a two to five-year suspension of the trainer and a minimum $50,000 fine which could be increased to $100,000 with aggravating circumstances.   A second violation in any jurisdiction would trigger a license revocation.    

The proposal would also impose a $25,000 fine on an owner if there is a second lifetime offense in the owner’s stable in any jurisdiction.  A third offense would suspend the owner for a minimum of thirty days to as much as a year and impose a minimum fine of $50,000 which could be increased to $100,000. 

Because of the seriousness of “Doping or Equine Endangerment” violations a summary suspension would be immediately required, regardless of whether there is an appeal or not.

As the ARCI Model Rules require disclosure to a commission or the maintenance of required treatment records for certain substances, a new recommended penalty for failure to do so would require a minimum  $500 fine for a first-time offense.  A second offense would bring a $2,500 fine, a third offense a $5,000 fine plus referral to the commission for possible license review.

The draft penalty matrix has been modified from the original proposal to create an additional level of recommended penalty. This simplifies the proposed changes and builds upon the existing guideline structure, which not compromising the ability to impose tougher sanctions for the most serious violations.

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: