Lazarus on HISA Anti-Doping and Medication Control

Bit by bit, the pieces of the puzzle are slotting into place for the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) component of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, set to go into effect at the start of next year. Last month, that program was designated an agency to officially run it--namely Drug Free Sports International, an organization that has helped administer drug testing programs to a slew of major human sports leagues. Then, last week, the draft ADMC rules were for put out public comment. These draft rules can be found...

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HISA Tabs Drug Free Sport International as Enforcement Agency Partner

Edited Press Release The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority's (HISA) Board of Directors has selected Drug Free Sport International (DFS) to build HISA's independent Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) enforcement agency. The decision followed months of discussions with several potential enforcement agencies and marks another major milestone in the implementation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. HISA sought out DFS given its history of drug testing and enforcement partnerships with leading sports organizations, including the National Football League, NCAA, National Basketball Association, Ladies Professional Golf Association, PGA Tour, NASCAR...

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Flavien Prat Talks Flightline, SoCal Dominance On Writers' Room

Saturday at Santa Anita, Flavien Prat, the perennial leading rider in California, racked up six wins and didn't finish worse than second on any of the day's mounts. It was the third time in the past year that Prat has won a half-dozen races at the Arcadia oval; in the previous 30 years, it only happened twice altogether. With that backdrop, Prat joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Tuesday as the Green Group Guest of the Week to discuss his star turn since coming over from his native...

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USADA Unable to Reach Deal With HISA Authority

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), for years a vocal proponent of federal legislation to bring the sport under a single governing entity, announced in a press release Thursday morning that it has been unable to reach an agreement to become the enforcement agency for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, the broad non-profit umbrella established by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. "After months of negotiations, we have been unable to enter an agreement in line with the requirements of the Act, and one which would have given us...

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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 Submits Draft Safety Regulations To FTC

Edited Press Release The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (the Authority) formally submitted draft Racetrack Safety regulations to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Dec. 6 for review, public comment and final approval with an effective date of July 1, 2022. The draft rules reflect significant work by the Authority's Racetrack Safety Committee and input from a broad range of regulators, experts, other industry stakeholders and the general public. The rules will establish a national, uniform program including pre-race veterinary inspections, voided claim rules, racetrack surface maintenance, and the gathering of...

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Letter to the Editor: Hold On, The Ride is About to Begin

There's good news and bad news coming. The good news is that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act solves the persistent problem of inadequate funding to police the sport. The bad news is that decisions coming soon by the HISA Board may jeopardize millions of dollars of existing public support now allocated for this function. Collectively the U.S. states invest over $100 million to regulate racing and wagering. That money comes in large part from taxes generated by the industry and fans. Commissions fight every year to ensure that adequate...

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Bobby Flay Talks Breeders' Cup Triumph On Writers' Room

Still riding high from a scintillating victory in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with fast-finishing Pizza Bianca (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), celebrity chef, restaurateur and owner/breeder Bobby Flay joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Tuesday afternoon. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Flay appreciated the significance of winning on racing's biggest stage with a homebred, teased a potential Royal Ascot trip with Pizza Bianca and discussed how he would approach racing's marketing challenges and more. Flay made a huge splash at...

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The Week in Review: Tygart, USADA Out to Clean Up the Game

We heard from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), its CEO Travis Tygart and the Director of Equine Science Dr. Tessa Muir last week when USADA released its anti-doping guidelines, rules and protocols. Once again, we saw that these are no-nonsense, dedicated people with a track record of cleaning up other sports. The release of the guidelines was an important step toward what will be a welcome change for racing--competent, dedicated policing from an outside entity replacing the current system, which just doesn't work. (Quotes from this story were taken...

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USADA's Travis Tygart and Tessa Muir Join the TDN Writers' Room

  To coincide with the release of its anti-doping guidelines for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's CEO Travis Tygart and Equine Program Director Tessa Muir joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Wednesday evening. Sitting down for an expansive, near hour-long interview as the Green Group Guests of the Week, Tygart and Muir broke down all facets of the potential uniform medication policies and regulations, talked about the varying  working relationships they've developed with state racing commissions, elucidated how testing and doping investigations would work under HISA...

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HISA Draft Rules Augur Fundamental Changes For Industry

Draft rules for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) were unveiled Thursday morning, auguring fundamental shifts to the way the industry is policed, including a markedly more stringent approach to medication violation penalties. Far from concrete, these draft rules are subject to the red pen. Nevertheless, as currently written, they raise notable differences to the working status quo. Broadly, the draft rules take a binary approach to drug testing, breaking medications down into primary and secondary categories. A primary substance is one that is always prohibited, while a secondary...

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Q&A with USADA's Tygart and Muir

Draft rules for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) were unveiled Thursday morning, broad details of which can be read here. As expected, these draft rules aren't full and comprehensive, and are subject to revision. Nevertheless, as currently written, they signify a fundamental revision to the way the industry is policed, including a markedly more stringent approach to medication violations. To discuss these rules, the TDN sat down Wednesday afternoon with United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) CEO Travis Tygart and Dr. Tessa Muir, head of the agency's equine program....

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