HISA Anti-Doping and Medication Program Update and Statements
Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and The National HBPA Release
LEXINGTON, Ky.—The FTC today rejected “without prejudice” HISA’s proposed Anti-Doping and Medication Control rules, which means they will not go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
The text of the Federal Trade Commission decision is as follows:
The Federal Trade Commission has issued an Order disapproving the Anti-Doping and Medication Control proposed rule submitted by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to its enforcement rule after a public comment period. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which recognized the Authority, includes a requirement that its rules must be submitted for approval to the FTC.
The Commission’s Order explains that its disapproval arises from the legal uncertainty arising from a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which declared the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act unconstitutional. Because the next steps in the litigation could render the proposed rule unenforceable in the states that make up the circuit and in those that are plaintiffs in litigation, approving the proposed rule would be inconsistent with the Act’s foundational principle that horseracing rules be uniform across the nation. Accordingly, the Commission did not reach the merits of the proposed rule, which the Authority may re-submit if the legal uncertainty is resolved.
Statement issued by HISA regarding the FTC’s decision:
“HISA appreciates the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) decision to deny HISA’s draft Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) rules without prejudice as we actively seek to resolve current legal uncertainties. HISA is eager to launch Thoroughbred racing’s first and long-awaited national, uniform ADMC program and stands ready to do so. We will re-submit the draft ADMC rules to the FTC for their review as soon as these legal uncertainties are resolved, and once approved, we will implement the program through the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU). In the meantime, HIWU will continue to work toward the implementation of a uniform, independent anti-doping and medication control program that is administered consistently and fairly across the United States.”
Statement from Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit Executive Director Ben Mosier:
“As the designated independent enforcement agency of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s (HISA) Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program, the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU) has spent the past seven months preparing for the Program’s implementation on January 1, 2023, and stood ready to enforce this national, uniform program on that date pending approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Following today’s decision by the FTC to deny HISA’s draft ADMC rules without prejudice due to current legal uncertainties, HIWU will continue its education and outreach efforts to all stakeholders in the Thoroughbred industry. As HISA re-submits the draft ADMC rules for the FTC’s approval, HIWU will use any additional time before implementation as an opportunity to ensure the industry is even more prepared for an efficient rollout of this Program, which will promote fair competition in the sport of Thoroughbred racing and the safety and welfare of our human and equine athletes.”
We will keep our membership informed of ongoing developments.
Statement from National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback on the Federal Trade Commission’s order to not approve the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Authority’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control rules that were to go into effect Jan. 1:
“The recent FTC decision is another positive step forward for horsemen in our battle against the unconstitutional takeover of our industry. The strength of our legal arguments led to a unanimous decision in the Fifth Circuit, and now the FTC has done the right thing in declining to defy a federal court that has found HISA unconstitutional. The FTC order is clear: state law continues to govern medication issues until our final victory in this case.”