Horsemen’s advisory: Withdrawal guidance now 72 hours for bute

An RMTC advisory:

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) has been informed that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s (HISA) Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) program has proposed enforcing the screening limit of phenylbutazone at 300 ng/mL in blood, rather than the previously established screening limit of 200 ng/mL in blood. 

HISA will file Guidance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that will implement this change in the enforcement of the screening limit.  The RMTC’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) has been asked by industry stakeholders to review its withdrawal guidance of phenylbutazone based upon the updated proposed screening limit.  In its earlier work, the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) provided withdrawal guidance of 96 hours for phenylbutazone, which was based on a rigorous, objective process using an agreed-upon methodology given a screening limit of 200 ng/mL in blood provided by HISA’s ADMC program. 

Based on the updated screening limit of 300 ng/mL in blood and a single IV dose of 4.4 mg/kg, the SAC has reviewed all available data and is now recommending an updated withdrawal guidance of 72 hours for phenylbutazone.  The RMTC’s Withdrawal Guidance of HISA’s ADMC Detection Times document will reflect those changes. 

The RMTC is a 501(c) 3 organization comprised of 23 industry stakeholder organizations with a shared commitment to engage in research, education, and advocacy for science-based initiatives that promote the health and safety of the racehorse and the integrity of competition. More information can be found at 

Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.