Edited Press Release
New and enhanced anti-doping regulations took effect in U.S. Thoroughbred horse racing Monday following the Federal Trade Commission's approval of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority's (HISA) Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program.
HISA's ADMC Program, administered by the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU), brings all testing and results management under one national authority, standardizes the categories of substances laboratories test for and institutes clear and consistent penalties for violations.
In its authority as the independent administrator of the ADMC Program, HIWU is introducing to the sport a new paperless sample collection system, strategic out-of-competition testing nationwide and centralized adjudication processes to facilitate swift rulings.
“Having a uniform anti-doping program in place for the first time ever will be a game changer for American horse racing,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. “HISA's ADMC Program is the modern, rigorous yet fair regulatory framework the sport deserves. Its rules, philosophical approach and professional implementation will help ensure the integrity of the competition and demonstrate the seriousness of the industry's commitment to equine welfare.”
HIWU is led by Executive Director Ben Mosier. Among other members of HIWU's leadership team are experts with decades of experience working in anti-doping, including in Thoroughbred racing, as well as in federal law enforcement.
“The HIWU team is proud to partner with HISA in the administration of the ADMC Program, which represents a major advancement in how the sport governs anti-doping enforcement,” said Mosier. “HIWU has been working with state racing commissions and racing participants for months to educate all the sport's stakeholders on the new rules, including through in-person and virtual presentations and the library of resources on our website. I am grateful to all who are working with us, particularly the local sample collection personnel, laboratories and other officials operating under the new uniform procedures now in place.”
The ADMC Program's Prohibited Substances List is divided into two categories: 1) Banned Substances that are never permitted in a horse and 2) Controlled Medications that are permitted outside specified periods. Horses will now be tested for these substances following races as well as outside competition windows through an intelligence-based testing system developed by HIWU. The ADMC Program incorporates internationally recognized standards set by organizations including the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, passed into federal law by a bipartisan act of Congress, grants HISA jurisdiction over all Thoroughbred horse races in the U.S. that are the subject of interstate off-track or advance deposit wagers.
The ADMC Program is the second of HISA's two regulatory programs to be implemented. HISA's Racetrack Safety Program, which established uniform operational safety rules and racetrack accreditation standards, took effect upon receiving approval from the FTC on July 1, 2022.
National HBPA Statement in Response to ADMC Rules Approval
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association released a statement in response to the FTC's approval the Anti-Doping and Medication Control rules, while also committing to filing a motion to stop the rules from going into effect.
“The Authority is barreling forward to implement HISA, and the FTC is enabling it by rubber-stamping another set of seriously flawed rules,” said National HBPA President Doug Daniels, DVM. “Industry concerns must be taken into account, and we believe no one at the FTC is listening. That's why the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled HISA unconstitutional in our lawsuit. Without our efforts, I fear for our future. Today, we plan to file a motion with the Northern District of Texas court asking the judge immediately to stop these rules from going into effect.”
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