Frank Stronach: owns Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park and PimlicoPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Racetrack king Stronach leads drug reform in US
FRANK STRONACH, whose Stronach Group owns several leading American tracks including Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park and Pimlico, has announced his courses will introduce measures to try and eliminate drug abuse within the sport in America.
Stronach called for track operators, horsemen and regulators to "come together to do everything we can to prevent any abuse of our thoroughbred athletes", and proposed banning "any individuals engaged in fraudulent or harmful activities from participating in our sport."
In a press release Stronach said: "The Stronach Group is supportive of all initiatives that help achieve the goal of horses competing free from the influence of medication, and therefore fully supports the horseracing industry's first ever National Uniform Medication Program.
"The program seeks to limit the number of therapeutic medications that are needed for the routine treatment of horses and sets medication thresholds and withdrawal time guidelines. The program also provides penalty recommendations that specifically address repeat medication offenders.
"In order to be effective, these reforms must be adopted and implemented by all racing states no later than September 1, 2014," the release read. "If this deadline is not met, The Stronach Group will work together with other concerned industry stakeholders to begin aggressively lobbying for federal legislation containing the same reforms outlined in the proposed National Uniform Medication Program."
Additionally the Stronach Group, also responsible for Golden Gate Fields, Laurel Park, and Portland Meadows, will strictly police medications prescribed and administered on site. Random drug testing and spot checks and the automatic drug testing of all horses shipped in to race will also be implemented with tracks potentially banning individuals found guilty.