New anti-doping and drug rules for horse racing presented


The emerging Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority on Thursday released a draft of proposed anti-doping and drug control rules aimed at unifying a sport that has been practiced under patchwork rules in 38 racing states for years.

Since July, HISA has been working with the US Anti-Doping Agency to develop rules that can now be publicly commented on, including those from the racing industry.

On December 6, the proposed rules will go to the Federal Trade Commission for further public comment and approval by the FTC. If approved by the FTC and HISA, the rules would go into effect on July 1st.

The biggest changes include the uniform application of the rules in all racing states and the change in how violations are dealt with.

“There would no longer be a myriad of different scenarios that question the entire system and its effectiveness,” said Travis Tygart, CEO of USADA, in a video interview.

According to the regulations, the anti-bleeding drug Lasix would be banned on race day in all 2-year-olds and stakes races as well as other races. Last week, all 14 races of the Breeder’s Cup World Championship were held without Lasix for the first time.

Primary substances, including anabolic steroids and erythropoietin (EPO), which can increase red blood cells and increase aerobic capacity, would be prohibited at all times.

Secondary substances such as anti-inflammatories and dietary supplements would be banned on race day. Up to 48 hours before a race, horses were only allowed to get water, hay and oats. From midnight on the day of the race, no prohibited substance could be detected.

According to the rules, a positive test, consumption or possession of a primary substance would be punished with a ban of up to two years or in the presence of aggravating circumstances or a second violation within 10 years with a ban of up to four years. A third or more violation within 10 years could result in a lifetime ban.

A positive test, consumption or possession of a secondary substance can result in a suspension of up to 30 days and a fine. This can be extended to up to two years within five years in the event of aggravating circumstances or in the event of a fourth or more violation of this type.

“This is one of the most important steps on the road to a successful future for horse racing in the US,” said Tessa Muir, director of USADA’s equestrian program.

Horses, like human athletes, could be tested anywhere and anytime without notice until they are finally withdrawn from racing.

Failure to inform HISA of a horse’s whereabouts could result in a penalty of up to a year. Technology is still under development that would track a horse’s whereabouts, especially when taking a long break from racing.

“It’s an inconvenience and a burden on people, and we understand that,” said Tygart, adding, “The burden is nowhere near what our human athletes have to go through.”

Evasion, manipulation, administration of a primary substance, human trafficking, complicity and retaliation can be punished with up to two years. Failure to cooperate and administer a secondary substance would result in a suspension of up to 30 days and a fine.

Horses can also be punished. All violations on the day of the race would lead to their automatic disqualification.

Owners, trainers and vets would be educated about the rules through a combination of online and face-to-face training. Trainers would have to register with HISA.

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act went into effect last January and created the power to enforce the law.

Opponents have filed lawsuits in Kentucky and Texas to prevent the law from being implemented.

“We are not blind to the fact that there were some who never wanted the legislation passed and they fought tooth and nail against it. It was unfortunately a waste of precious time and resources, “said Tygart.

“They would hope that eventually we can prove to them that this is the right thing to do. We will not allow those who are bound by the status quo or who are afraid of change to prevent this industry from progressing. The long-term viability of the industry is at stake. “


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