The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has released a draft of proposed anti-doping and medication control rules designed to bring uniformity to a sport that has operated for years under patchwork regulations in 38 racing states. HISA has been working with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to develop rules that are now open to public comment.
On Dec. 6, the proposed rules go to the Federal Trade Commission for further public comment and FTC approval. If approved by the FTC and HISA, the rules would take effect July 1.
Like human athletes, horses could be tested anywhere and at any time without advance notice until they permanently retire from racing. Not informing HISA of a horse’s whereabouts could result in a sanction of up to one year. Still under development is technology that would track a horse’s whereabouts, especially when it is given an extended break from racing.
Evasion, tampering, administration of a primary substance, trafficking, complicity and retaliation could draw a sanction of up to two years. Failure to cooperate and administration of a secondary substance would be punished by a suspension of up to 30 days and a fine. Horses can be punished, too. Any race-day violations would result in their automatic disqualification.
PROPOSED RULES OPEN TO PUBLIC COMMENT
USADA has led the drafting process of the Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program. Three of the six documents pertaining to the program—including the proposed Equine Protocol, Prohibited List and Definitions—have been posted to date and the remaining documents will be published over the next two weeks.