Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is taking aim at an 87-year-old tradition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when the winner drinks milk to celebrate the victory.

“Winners Don’t Drink Milk,” proclaim three billboards (pictured) that went up near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ahead of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. According to Washington, D.C.-based PCRM, the billboards, mock the phrase “Winners Drink Milk,” used by the American Dairy Association Indiana, Inc. The doctors group also wrote to Douglas Boles, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to urge him to provide the winner with plant milk or water instead of cow’s milk.

“This year, the Indianapolis 500 should ditch the dairy-industry marketing tactic of giving the winner a bottle of milk and instead provide a healthful alternative like plant milk or water," the PCRM letter to Boles claimed.

The letter was also sent to Richard Thomas, president of the American Dairy Association Indiana, Inc., and Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG.

The tradition of the Indy 500 winner drinking milk dates to 1936 when a cameraman captured Louis Meyer sipping from a bottle of buttermilk, according to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The PCRM in a news release makes such claims as "research shows that dairy products including milk increase prostate cancer risk, recurrence, and mortality... Drinking milk also increases breast cancer risk." 

According to the Indianapolis Star, "The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has no plans to change the current milk tradition, communications director Amanda Stanley said."