Charles Scheeler

Attorney, Trainer Vienna Joins Epistolary Exchanges on HISA

As the deadline looms for congress to insert language into the full year-end omnibus spending bill to fix constitutional question marks surrounding the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), proponents and critics of the law have taken to an epistolary standoff. Last week, trainers Wesley Ward and Larry Rivelli issued a letter through the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) critiquing various aspects of the national program for "too many flaws, missteps and costs that could have been averted with true inclusion and transparency in its development." Earlier this...

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Letter to the Industry: HISA Calls on Horsemen to Work with US to Advance Shared Goals

by Charles Scheeler, HISA Board of Directors The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, or HISA, was created by Congress in 2020 to implement, for the first time, uniform nationwide safety and integrity rules to govern Thoroughbred racing in America. It represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reform a sport that in recent years has seen criminal conduct at its highest levels and welfare concerns about horse and rider safety that have raised questions about its viability. Some horsemen have recently expressed a desire to scrap the substantial progress made over the...

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Language Amending HISA in Omnibus Spending Bill

Draft language has been inserted into the full-year omnibus spending bill designed to fix a constitutional problem with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) identified by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which found in November that the law as written doesn't afford the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enough authority in the rule-making process. In short, the draft omnibus spending bill cedes the FTC--the governmental agency which ultimately signs off on any new HISA rule--new autonomy to remove, add to and tweak language in the rules constructed by the...

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Conservative Judges in Sixth Circuit Appeals Court “Does Not Bode Well” for HISA

The conservative bent of two of the three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit scheduled to hear another case about the constitutionality of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) "does not bode well" for the near-term future of the act, said appellate law expert Lucinda Finley. Oral arguments are set for Dec. 7 in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for an appeal of an earlier ruling in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. That district court found that HISA was indeed constitutional,...

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Lazarus Named CEO of HISA

The Board of Directors for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) has announced that Lisa Lazarus will serve as the body's Chief Executive Officer effective Feb. 15, 2022. Lazarus will oversee the implementation of the racetrack safety program July 1, 2022, engage a best-in-class independent enforcement agency to oversee the Authority's Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) program, and work with stakeholders across the U.S. to evaluate and improve both programs on an ongoing basis. Lazarus established and leads the Equestrian Practice at Morgan Sports Law, where she provides counsel...

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The Week in Review: USADA-HISA Must Settle Their Differences

The announcement that came last week that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has bowed out and will not become the enforcement agency for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority couldn't have been worse news for the sport. It was a lump of coal in the stocking at Christmastime. Thanks to the passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) racing finally seemed ready to clean up a game where cheating trainers and the use of performance-enhancing drugs is a serious problem. USADA was not only the best choice...

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Symposium: HISA Panels Light on Specifics

Over the course of three panel sessions Tuesday during the latest Race Track Industry Symposium (RTIP) at Tucson, Arizona, more flesh was publicly added to the bones of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). Nevertheless, overall specifics were pretty light on the ground--frustratingly so, for many--with an overarching message that the various medication and safety programs are very much a work in progress. Looming over proceedings was yesterday's news that Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit (Protonico), suffered an apparent sudden cardiac death after a scheduled workout at Santa Anita....

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HISA to Take Over OOC Testing in July 2022, Race-Day Testing Start of 2023

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) announced the proposed implementation date of the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) program Tuesday, saying out-of-competition testing would be administered, under HISA's jurisdiction, beginning with the program's effective date in July 2022. Race-day testing would remain under the jurisdiction of state regulators until the beginning of 2023 at which point this would transition to HISA's jurisdiction. The proposed structure was announced by HISA Board Chair Charles Scheeler at the Global Symposium on Racing, hosted by the University of Arizona. Scheeler addressed the industry...

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Timeline for HISA Implementation Comes Into Clearer Focus

With the July 1, 2022, implementation date looming for the nationwide regulatory Authority mandated by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) to go into effect, Charles Scheeler, the chairman of the Authority's board of directors, on Sunday outlined the timetable for the sport's new ruling body to be fully operational. Speaking via pre-recorded video during Sunday's 69th Annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing that was hosted virtually by The Jockey Club (TJC), Scheeler said the Authority is currently developing its anti-doping and safety programs side by...

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HISA Board Chair: We Will Be Tough

Addressing the media Wednesday through a Zoom call, Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority Chair Charles Scheeler said that the authority will go to great lengths to clean up the sport and its efforts will include increased out-of-competition testing and investigative work that goes beyond the standard methods of drug testing. When asked whether or not rules and penalties under the authority may be stricter than they are currently with state racing commissions, Scheeler replied: "It's certainly a possibility in some areas." He continued: "We need to make it so...

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First Meeting for HISA Board; Scheeler Elected Chair

Edited Press Release The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority's board of directors recently held its inaugural meeting and elected Charles Scheeler as chairperson of the board. This meeting marks a major step in the operational and organizational transition of the Authority from the nomination and selection process to the critical work of developing uniform safety and integrity rules for the horse racing industry. "I'm honored to be selected by my fellow board members as the first chairperson of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. We have a monumental task ahead...

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