With the official launch of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control rules March 27, HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus shared her thoughts on the historic day in the open letter that follows.

“I’m pleased to share that HISA’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control regulations have received final approval from the Federal Trade Commission and are effective immediately. Beginning today, all races under HISA’s jurisdiction will be run under a comprehensive, uniform ADMC program, ushering in a new era of Thoroughbred racing.

“This is a historic moment for our sport, and I first of all want to thank everyone across the racing industry who has worked tirelessly to make this momentous day possible. For the first time, racing participants will operate under uniform testing and enforcement standards developed to strengthen equine welfare and instill greater fairness in competition. The clear and consistent penalties for rule violations under the ADMC Program will hold bad actors responsible for their actions, while raising public trust in the sport for the vast majority of horsemen who act in good faith and follow the rules.

“I have the utmost confidence in the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU), the ADMC program’s independent administrator, led by executive director Ben Mosier. HIWU has spent months preparing the industry for this important transition through meetings with industry stakeholders, including horsemen, veterinarians, state racing commissions, and laboratories, as well as by publishing a growing library of online educational resources.

“For anyone who may have missed HIWU’s educational meetings, Dr. Mary Scollay’s full presentation on the ADMC Program is available online and HIWU and HISA staff continue to be available to answer questions at any time via feedback@hisaus.org and/or info@hiwu.org.

“HIWU is hitting the ground running today with the rollout of its paperless collection system in test barns across the country. This new paperless system will streamline and modernize the collections process and bring transparency and consistency to sample collection chain of custody. In the coming weeks and months, industry participants will begin to see firsthand how the ADMC program’s uniform prohibited substances lists, standardized lab result turnaround times, strategic out-of-competition testing, and fair and swift adjudication will significantly bolster integrity in the sport.

“HIWU representatives will be on-site at racetracks running covered races today, just as they will be at all racetracks when they run their first races under the new rules, to support and answer questions from collectors, racetrack personnel, and horsemen. I will be at Parx Racing today to take in the races, observe the testing program’s implementation firsthand, and answer any questions. I hope to see some of you there.

“I also want to remind racing participants that, effective today, compliance with HISA’s registration and racetrack safety rules, which first took effect July 1, 2022, will be required in order to be eligible to race. Covered persons must have themselves and their covered horses registered in the HISA portal and have paid any overdue HISA fines.

“Jockeys are also required to have entered into the portal the dates of their most recent baseline concussion test and physical examination, each of which must have occurred within the last 12 months. More information on these requirements and how to comply can be found here.

“Anyone requiring assistance with the HISA portal or with urgent questions about the ADMC Program is encouraged to call HISA’s 24/7 help desk number at 1-877-513-2919.

“As of today, all of HISA’s regulations are in effect, thanks to the incredible collaboration of horsemen, racetracks, and state racing commissions across the country. I thank you again and I look forward to continuing to work together closely in the years ahead to constantly make HISA better. Many in our sport have long called for uniformity in how we protect our equine athletes and demonstrate the integrity of the sport, and I am incredibly proud that today we are taking the first steps in making this dream a reality.”

Original source credited to bloodhorse.com

Cover photo credit to Nikki Sherman/EQUI-PHOTO

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