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HISA Reaches Out to Labs, States on Anti-Doping Launch

HISA's enforcement agency sent letters Aug. 18 to labs and state racing commissions.

HISA officials will meet with lab directors in the coming months as it prepares to launch its anti-doping program Jan. 1

HISA officials will meet with lab directors in the coming months as it prepares to launch its anti-doping program Jan. 1


The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority continues to take steps toward taking oversight of racing's anti-doping efforts and medication rules.

On the same day, Aug. 18, that HISA submitted its proposed rules for its Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program to the Federal Trade Commission for final approval, its enforcement agency also sent letters to lab directors and state racing commission directors requesting further communication in the weeks ahead. Both letters were written by Ben Mosier, the executive director of the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit, an agency created by Drug Free Sport International to administer and enforce HISA's anti-doping and medication control rules.

HISA, which started its Racetrack Safety Program July 1, is preparing to launch its anti-doping and medication control efforts Jan. 1. 

In Wednesday's letter to directors of labs currently accredited by the industry's Racing Medication & Testing Consortium, Mosier said the HIWU would like to have discussions on testing capabilities and facilities while explaining the HIWU accreditation process going forward. The ADMC program includes a laboratory accreditation process that will be administered and maintained by the HIWU.

"In an effort to facilitate these discussions, HIWU will be sending each laboratory a survey within the next week," Mosier said in the letter. "This survey will cover topics including current laboratory certifications, current equine testing volumes, current staffing, equipment currently in use, the state racing commissions (that) your laboratory services, and your laboratory's ability to expand its testing capacity.

"We greatly appreciate your participation in this survey as information sharing, collaboration, and coordination with you will be central to our efforts and key to our success."

The equine standards for laboratories, and the accreditation process, are outlined in rule series 6000 in the final draft regulations sent to the FTC.

In Wednesday's letter to state racing commissions, Mosier said that HIWU senior management, which also includes chief of operations Kate Mittlestadt and general counsel Michelle Pujals, will set up meetings to address the implementation of the ADMC program. The letter notes that states conducting racing during the first quarter of 2023 will be prioritized but they hope to have initial conversations with all racing states within the next 30 days.

"Although HISA's ADMC rules are not yet approved by the FTC in final form, we are initiating our robust outreach and education efforts immediately and are already working on resources to support the implementation and understanding of the ADMC program rules as they will apply to various stakeholders, including state racing commissions," Mosier said. "We can and will modify these resources, as necessary, if substantive changes to the rules require us to do so."

Both letters were copied to HISA executive director Lisa Lazarus and HISA's director of state racing commission relations Marc Guilfoil. The letter to state racing commissions also was copied to ARCI president Ed Martin.

The draft rules sent Wednesday to the FTC were developed by HISA in consultation with HISA's ADMC Standing Committee before being presented to the HISA board for approval. 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.