Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act

The Week in Review: HBPA Says ‘Ramrodded’ Integrity Act Could Get Challenged As ‘Unconstitutional’

If the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) gets passed by the United States Senate and then signed into federal law, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) could launch a legal challenge against it based on the alleged unconstitutionality of the independently overseen anti-doping, drug testing, and racetrack safety standard programs that the new federal law would create. Leroy Gessmann, who serves as both the NHBPA president and as Arizona HBPA's executive director, told commissioners at the Oct. 8 Arizona Racing Commission (AZRC) meeting that "this thing is...

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Nominating Committee Formed to Select HISA Board Members

A nominating committee--responsible for selecting members of the board of directors of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), as well as members of its Anti-doping and Medication Control and Racetrack Safety committees--has been formed through the efforts of leading Thoroughbred industry stakeholders, including Breeders' Cup, Churchill Downs Incorporated, Keeneland Association, and The Jockey Club. HISA will be an independent, non-governmental regulatory body, run by an independent board, responsible for improving current regulations and bringing a new level of transparency to Thoroughbred racing. The nominating committee is made up of...

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TDN International Editor Kelsey Riley Talks Arc On Writers’ Room

In addition to all the Stateside action this weekend--the final leg of the Triple Crown, Fall Stars Weekend at Keeneland and 11 Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" events--the biggest race of the year in Europe will also be run with Sunday's G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris. Wednesday on the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland, TDN International Editor Kelsey Riley joined the crew as the Green Group Guest of the Week to talk about the much-anticipated showdown between Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) and...

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Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Passes House

By a unanimous Sep. 29 voice vote, the United States House of Representatives passed a years-in-the-making bill that, if eventually signed into law, will develop and implement anti-doping, medication control, drug testing, and racetrack safety standard programs enforced by an independent authority whose powers would supersede the long-standing state-by-state regulation of the sport. HR 1754, which has existed in various proposed forms since 2015 and was amended Sep. 9 to match the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) companion legislation that got introduced in the U.S. Senate that same day,...

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McConnell Introduces Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in U.S. Senate

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Wednesday to help set national standards to promote fairness, increase safety, and help preserve Thoroughbred racing. At a press conference last week in Lexington, the Horse Capital of the World, Senator McConnell joined U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) and leading Kentucky stakeholders, including Keeneland, Churchill Downs Incorporated, Breeders' Cup Limited, and the Jockey Club in announcing the introduction of the bill. They also...

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NTRA Votes to Support HISA

The Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has voted to support passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 (HISA). The action was taken Wednesday afternoon at a special meeting of the Board of the Directors. The HISA will improve the integrity and safety of Thoroughbred racing by requiring uniform safety and performance standards, including an anti-doping and medication control program and a racetrack safety program to be developed and enforced by an independent Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. "We thank Senate Majority Leader...

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Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Scheduled for Markup Hearing Wednesday

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is scheduled for a markup hearing by the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 11:00 a.m. EST. U.S. Reps Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and Andy Barr, R-Ky, will lead the markup hearing. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, announced last week he will introduce compromise legislation that will replicate several key provisions within H.R. 1754, also known as the Horseracing Integrity Act. It is expected the Committee will amend and approve H.R. 1754, allowing it to be taken...

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THA Addresses Proposed Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act

The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association issued a statement Tuesday regarding the proposed Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which was announced Monday and is expected to be introduced in the Senate this month. THA Chairman Alan Foreman said: "For the past year, the THA has been actively involved with industry leaders in seeking solutions to our medication issues and in enacting rules, policies and protocols to enhance the health, safety and welfare of our horses. It has been our widely-expressed view that the original Horseracing Integrity Act, as proposed, should encompass mandatory...

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HBPA ‘Never Consulted’ on New Version of Integrity Act

Six hours after an Aug. 31 press conference at which United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other proponents of a federal bill announced newly achieved compromise among industry stakeholders in crafting new anti-doping oversight for horse racing, Eric Hamelback, the CEO of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), told TDN that his organization is actually not on board with the plan. Hamelback's emailed clarification was in response to a request for comment from TDN that did not arrive in time to be included in the...

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Op/Ed: A Critical Step Forward for the Sport

When 27 individuals were indicted in March by federal authorities for their alleged involvement in a wide-spread doping scheme the story was about more than Jason Servis or Jorge Navarro or the cocktails of performance-enhancing drugs they were charged with using on their horses. It was about a system that was so hopelessly broken and incapable of effectively policing the sport that it took the federal government to come in and do what racing had continually failed to do--take meaningful steps to clean up the game. There had to be...

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Officials Announce the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority; Horseracing Integrity Act to Be Introduced in Senate

Backed by the political clout of United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), proponents of a federal bill mandating an independent anti-doping and medication control program for horse racing announced at an Aug. 31 press conference at Keeneland that a retooled version of the framework of legislation that has existed since 2015 will be introduced in the Senate in September by McConnell himself. Backers of the bill spoke Monday of newfound compromise and consensus among the sport's stakeholders that they said would help to usher the Horseracing Integrity and...

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