Nothing Foggy About Racing Australia’s “Clear Day” Policy
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, September 4, 2015—As Thoroughbred racing gets closer to zero hour with respect to enacting meaningful reform via independent oversight and a ban on raceday use of medication, battle lines continue to be drawn.
What’s encouraging is the fact that the industry is finally addressing medication concerns, legal and otherwise, earnestly, especially since federal legislation has emerged as a real possibility.
By now all organizations know where the others stand and there’s no need for any further study. This issue has been studied to death with each side claiming it has the evidence to support its own position. However, only independent action will do now.
The pro independent-oversight faction gained more support this week when Jeff Gural’s three racetracks, including the Meadowlands, America’s leading harness track, joined the Coalition of Horse Racing Integrity as its eighth supporting organizational member.
The Coalition supports the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 sponsored by House Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) which in part would enable the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to create an independent, racing-specific, non-governmental and non-profit organization to work with established racing commissions.
And only this week did the DEA report that their sting operation, with the assistance of USADA, made 90 arrests and seized 16 underground steroid labs, including 636 kilograms of raw steroid powder and 8,200 liters of raw steroid injectable liquid, manufactured and trafficked via underground labs in China.
As for Gural, he has been walking his talk for years, paying for beefed-up security and out-of-competition testing that utilizes Hong Kong Jockey Club laboratories out of his own pocket. Gural does more than just pay lip service to the illusive level playing field.
Had New York been utilizing this same approach—highly creditable outside labs and state- of-the-art security--two recent positives might never have occurred. HRI has learned that in one case the level of overage was so high that it placed a stakes winner’s life in danger.
ARCI’s Martin Spearheading Pushback Campaign to Thwart Meaningful Reform
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, August 20, 2015—With the New York State Gaming Commission set to host a day-long forum on Tuesday to discuss the policies on, and rules pertaining to, the administration of raceday Lasix, a push-back and disinformation campaign by raceday-Lasix proponents has already begun.
It started last week with a story authored by Victor Salazar that appeared in horseracing-related media quoting professional boxer Steve Cunningham to say that random Olympic-style drug testing which was supposed to be administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency was never performed, implying that USADA had dropped the ball.
It wasn’t until later in the story was it indicated that routine pre- and post-race tests had been conducted by that state’s boxing commission concerning the bout in question. Indeed, all states require pre- and post-bout tests wherever boxing is sanctioned.
Illegal use of steroids are at the heart of doping issues in professional boxing. The violent nature of the sport is the reason why random testing makes should be mandatory. It wasn’t until later in the story when it was learned USADA didn’t conduct the random tests because the bout’s promoters failed to pay for it.
Aside from the curious appearance of this story in horse-racing related media, the bottom line is that despite assurances that the sport of boxing wants to clean up its act, the industry depends on the kindness of promoters to pay the freight.
Calling Don King.