Are They Really Qualified?

While reading The Paulick Report this morning I noticed a press release from the Racing Officials Accreditation Program or ROAP.  The Board Of Directors of that organization voted to endorse the Penalty Guidelines for Multiple Medication Violations as did the Association of Racing Commissioners International or ARCI in July.  My personal opinion is that both organizations made positive moves when they supported this proposal because it appears to be one that will be effective.  Here is what I don’t understand.  The problem of abuse of medication rules (And in some cases, horses) is not a new one.  It has been present in the industry for far too long and until recently there have been no meaningful discussions that I am aware of until a recent announcement by ARCI that a group of attorneys had determined that in order to severely curtail the extensive medication violations that were taking place, the intensity of punishment for these offenses would have to be increased.  Hallelujah!  Someone has finally seen the light.  Why is it that over the years some individual steward, Board Of Stewards, racing commissioner or Racing Commission has not been vocal about the ineffectiveness of their own regulatory methods?  Wouldn’t that be unique?  But as soon as it is served up to them by an organization, they all jump right on.  That is a sad commentary on these so called regulators of the horse racing industry.  Any group of lawyers worth their hourly fee, when asked how horse racing could bring the medication violations under control, would have answered the question in twenty or thirty minutes.  Again, a sad commentary on the regulators of the present and past.  Increasing penalties on repeat offenders is simply common sense logic.  It is a long standing and proven method of changing the behavior patterns of humans.  It works but regulators have shown no signs of recognition of this established fact, as evidenced by their rulings.  Why the reluctance to impose meaningful punishment on wrongdoers?  I don’t know who those attorneys are that were members of that group or exactly why they assembled but it certainly appears that they deserve a vote of thanks for putting in motion the process that became the Penalty Guidelines for Multiple Medication Violations.  They accomplished what the regulators themselves could not.

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