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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

HISA PUBLISHES PROPOSED DRUG MANDATES PLUS REACTION FROM ANIMAL WELLNESS ACTION

Edited Press Release — The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s (the Authority) Standing Advisory Committees, comprised of experts from inside and outside the thoroughbred racing industry, and the independent U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), have published initial drafts of proposed rules on hisaus.org for public comment.

As prescribed by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 (HISA), USADA has led the drafting process for the Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program. Three of the six documents pertaining to the Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program, including the proposed Equine Protocol, Prohibited List and Definitions, have been posted for public comment.

The remaining documents, which include Equine Arbitration Procedures, Testing and Investigation Standards, and Standards for Laboratories and Accreditation will be published over the next two weeks.

In addition, and separate from USADA’s work, the Racetrack Safety Program, which is made up of expanded veterinary exam protocols, enhanced racing and training requirements, minimum standards for surface maintenance and testing, and uniform reporting requirements has also been posted to the Authority’s website for public review.

USADA and the Advisory Committees will review and incorporate relevant public feedback on the recommendations and submit them to the Authority’s Board of Directors for approval. Following the Board approval process, the Authority will present its final proposed rules to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in early December.

This will then initiate a formal notice and comment rule-making process during which stakeholders and the general public may once again weigh in by submitting comments for a 60-day period, after which the FTC will publish final regulations.

“We are honored to be involved at this stage to help draft and ultimately finalize gold-standard rules on anti-doping and medication control for the equine industry,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “We are excited with where this process is headed and with proposed rules being published for two additional rounds of public feedback.”

“The rulemaking process is still underway, and we encourage experts, other industry stakeholders, racing fans and the general public to review and comment through our website. Although the final decision on which regulations will be approved and implemented ultimately lies with the FTC, we want to ensure that any interested party has the opportunity to offer their perspective and input,” said Charles Scheeler, Chairman of the Authority’s Board of Directors.

“While the FTC will authorize the final set of rules for the official launch of the Authority in July 2022, it is the Authority’s full intention to continue to work with the industry to evolve and improve the rules beyond that time.”

Please visit hisaus.org to view and weigh in on the proposed regulations and follow the Authority on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the latest developments.

Animal Wellness Action Statement


Animal Wellness Action led the charge on the HISA in the animal protection space working with coalition partners such as The Jockey Club, NYRA, The Breeders’ Cup, Water, Hay, Oats Alliance, and Stronach Group, and I testified before Congress at the 2020 hearing on the legislation.

“We applaud the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority for making progress in releasing these draft regulations and are looking forward to providing further commentary and feedback once we’ve reviewed them. Animal Wellness Action remains committed to seeing the end of doping in American horse racing, and the enforcement of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act we worked so hard to enact.

“For far too long American horse racing has been plagued by cheaters and abusers who’ve rigged the system by lubricating it and our iconic equines with syringes full of medication. American horse racing is addicted to drugs, but the rules of the game are about to change, and rehab is about to begin.” – Marty Irby, executive director, Animal Wellness Action

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