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HISA Submits Proposed Rules on Anti-Doping, Medication

The submission to the Federal Trade Commission follows a public comment period.

Lisa Lazarus, CEO of HISA

Lisa Lazarus, CEO of HISA

Jockey Club Photo

The board of directors for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority submitted Aug. 18 its proposed rules for HISA's Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program to the Federal Trade Commission for final approval ahead of the program's Jan. 1 implementation date. 

The rules were developed by the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit in consultation with the HISA ADMC Standing Committee before being presented to the HISA board for approval. The submission follows a public comment period and numerous open discussions and meetings with industry organizations and individuals, as well as the careful consideration of more than 200 comments submitted by racing participants and the general public.

"The comprehensive and uniform rules and regulations outlined in HISA's ADMC Program will truly level the playing field for racing participants and fans across the country," said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. "The ADMC Program's standardized implementation of the rules and the consistent enforcement and efficient resolution of rule violations by HIWU will make for a fairer, more transparent sport, and horses will be safer as a result."

The rules submitted to the FTC include the equine anti-doping and controlled medication protocol, the prohibited list, definitions, arbitration procedures, equine testing and investigation standards, and equine standards for laboratories and accreditation. Additionally, HISA recently made a draft prohibited substances list (technical document) available for public comment and will continue to solicit stakeholder input before submitting that document to the FTC at a later date. 

"These rules and enforcement processes are informed by subject matter experts who understand anti-doping and therapeutic medication control, have been involved in creating and managing equine anti-doping and welfare programs, and have unparalleled experience in testing science and research," said ADMC committee chair Adolpho Birch. "Out-of-competition testing, uniform lab accreditation, and results management processes, a robust intelligence and investigations arm, and consistent penalties that are commensurate to potential rule violations are just a few of the components of HISA's ADMC Program that will change Thoroughbred racing for the better. Importantly, the rules and processes include and build upon successful state programs, such as the Multiple Medications Violations Schedule." 

The FTC's approval process includes another public comment period during which industry representatives, horsemen, state regulators, and the general public can again weigh in on the proposed rules and regulations. HIWU will immediately begin working with state racing commissions and others across the industry to undertake a thorough stakeholder education process to ensure a smooth transition to implementation of HISA's ADMC Program and HIWU's ensuing enforcement. In the future, HISA and HIWU will also work with the industry to evolve the rules based on feedback and as new data, science, and experience on the ground dictates.

Jonathan Taylor, chair of HIWU's advisory council, said: "These new ADMC regulations, incorporating best practices from current equine anti-doping programs and from the World Anti-Doping Code, and reflecting the extensive and helpful feedback received from stakeholders, promise a new beginning for U.S. Thoroughbred racing. The advisory council looks forward to overseeing and supporting HIWU's efforts to implement and enforce these new regulations robustly, consistently, and fairly across the whole of the sport."

This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.