One Month In, HIWU Issues an Update

The Belmont was the first Triple Crown race under HISA's ADMC Program
Sarah Andrew

From the desk of Ben Mosier, Executive Director, Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU):

The last four weeks have represented the culmination of more than a year of planning and countless hours of preparation by the HIWU team to put forth the best national Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program possible for Thoroughbred racing. It has been incredibly rewarding to see HISA's ADMC Program get off the ground successfully. Through Sunday, June 18, HIWU-trained and certified sample collection personnel have collected samples from over 6,500 horses from more than 20 tracks nationwide. The samples are being analyzed by one of six approved laboratories, which are all testing for the same substances at the same levels. Furthermore, our anonymous whistleblower platforms are active, and our investigative staff have been reviewing the tips submitted to determine further action, when appropriate.

The Belmont Stakes was the first Triple Crown race to be conducted under HISA's ADMC Program. More than a dozen members of the HIWU team were on site at Belmont Park to assist operations, which included supporting the local sample collection personnel and investigators. The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has been a great partner with us, and we appreciate their collaboration to help make this historic race a success.

With our first month of enforcement now complete, I would like to remind industry participants that HIWU must follow specific public disclosure requirements when there are violations of the ADMC Program. In the case of a positive test for a Banned Substance, HIWU must publish the violation on our website upon the imposition of Provisional Suspensions to the Covered Person and Covered Horse. This will occur after HIWU receives the positive test result for the A Sample. For a positive test associated with a Controlled Medication, the violation will be published once the B Sample confirms the positive test or the Covered Person waives the right to test the B Sample. Non-presence cases (i.e., cases not involving a positive test) will be published after a Provisional Suspension is imposed on the Covered Person or a Charge Letter is served, whichever is earlier.

We expect that most cases will be public within weeks and resolved within a few months, which will be a welcome change from previous protocols.

HIWU recognizes the importance of continually offering education opportunities to help facilitate compliance among those impacted by the ADMC Program. In addition to HIWU's Education & Resources page, our team is available to meet with stakeholders and/or industry groups in person or virtually. Groups who would like to request a meeting should contact Stephanie Jenson at [email protected].

With our busiest months still to come, my team and I are excited to continue enforcement across the country and to maintain our relationships with the stakeholders who have made our efforts possible, from state racing commissions, racetracks, and laboratories to horsemen, veterinarians, and stewards. I am confident that this Program will ultimately enhance the health and safety of our equine and human athletes while promoting a level playing field that benefits the sport's honest participants.

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