Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Submits Prohibited Substances List to the Federal Trade Commission

October 26, 2022 (Lexington, Ky.) – The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has submitted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a technical document listing and categorizing 1,365 Prohibited Substances covered by HISA’s anti-doping and medication control (ADMC) rules and further dividing them into subcategories of Banned Substances and Controlled Medications. The document is now subject to final approval by the FTC ahead of the ADMC Program’s January 1, 2023 implementation date.

This technical document was developed by HISA’s ADMC Standing Committee and approved by the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU), which will administer the program. In a memorandum to racing participants, HISA ADMC Committee Chair Adolpho Birch summarized the contents of the document submitted, which underwent several modifications based on substantive feedback from racing participants and experts during a public comment period before submission to the FTC.

“The Prohibited Substances List is the result of extensive consultation with industry and subject matter experts and is informed by established research. Once approved by the FTC, it will serve as the backbone of HISA’s ADMC Program set to take effect in the New Year,” said Birch. “Through our collective efforts led by the ADMC Committee, we are proud to introduce U.S. Thoroughbred racing’s first-ever uniform Prohibited Substances list that will be applied on a national basis to advance integrity, transparency and accountability in the sport.”

“Effective anti-doping programs require clear guidance on prohibited substances, and we are pleased with the document that was submitted to the FTC,” said Ben Mosier, executive director of HIWU. “This list will play a key role in HIWU’s assignment to enforce HISA’s ADMC Program, and we are prepared to take on this critical responsibility on behalf of the Thoroughbred industry.”

In addition to listing and categorizing all prohibited substances covered by the ADMC Program, the document details detection times, screening limits and thresholds. The modified document submitted to the FTC is available on the HISA website.

FTC Notifies Appeals Court of HISA Rule Change Proposal

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The Federal Trade Commission notified the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans by a Sept. 2 letter that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority has proposed two rule changes to meet objections raised by two states and others in a federal lawsuit.

The suit originated in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, which on July 26 issued a preliminary injunction curbing HISA’s power to enforce FTC safety rules in Louisiana and West Virginia and to all plaintiffs in the case. The ruling was not based on constitutional grounds.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Aug. 8 ordered that the district court injunction be stayed except for its application to three regulations while it considers an appeal of the injunction. Oral arguments on the merits of the case followed Aug. 30.

 

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Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Submits Proposed Anti-Doping and Medication Control Rules to Federal Trade Commission

August 18, 2022 (Lexington, Ky) – The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s (HISA) Board of Directors yesterday submitted its proposed rules for HISA’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for final approval ahead of the program’s January 1, 2023 implementation date. These rules were developed by the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) in consultation with the HISA ADMC Standing Committee before being presented to the HISA Board for approval. This comes after a public comment period and numerous open discussions and meetings with industry organizations and individuals, as well as the careful consideration of more than 200 comments submitted by racing participants and the general public.

“The comprehensive and uniform rules and regulations outlined in HISA’s ADMC Program will truly level the playing field for racing participants and fans across the country,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. “The ADMC Program’s standardized implementation of the rules and the consistent enforcement and efficient resolution of rule violations by HIWU will make for a fairer, more transparent sport, and horses will be safer as a result.”

The rules submitted to the FTC include the Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Protocol, the Prohibited List, Definitions, Arbitration Procedures, Equine Testing and Investigation Standards, and Equine Standards for Laboratories and Accreditation. Additionally, HISA recently made a draft Prohibited Substances List (Technical Document) available for public comment and will continue to solicit stakeholder input before submitting that document to the FTC at a later date.

“These rules and enforcement processes are informed by subject matter experts who understand anti-doping and therapeutic medication control, have been involved in creating and managing equine anti-doping and welfare programs, and have unparalleled experience in testing science and research,” ADMC Committee Chair Adolpho Birch said. “Out-of- competition testing, uniform lab accreditation and results management processes, a robust intelligence and investigations arm, and consistent penalties that are commensurate to potential rule violations are just a few of the components of HISA’s ADMC Program that will change thoroughbred horseracing for the better. Importantly, the rules and processes include and build upon successful state programs, such as the Multiple Medications Violations Schedule.”

The FTC’s approval process includes another public comment period during which industry representatives, horsemen, state regulators and the general public can once again weigh in on the proposed rules and regulations. HIWU will immediately begin working with state racing commissions and others across the industry to undertake a thorough stakeholder education process to ensure a smooth transition to implementation of HISA’s ADMC Program and HIWU’s ensuing enforcement. In the future, HISA and HIWU will also work with the industry to evolve the rules based on their feedback and as new data, science and experience on the ground dictates.

Jonathan Taylor, chair of HIWU’s Advisory Council, said: “These new ADMC regulations, incorporating best practice from current equine anti-doping programs and from the World Anti-Doping Code, and reflecting the extensive and helpful feedback received from stakeholders, promise a new beginning for U.S. Thoroughbred racing. The Advisory Council looks forward to overseeing and supporting HIWU’s efforts to implement and enforce these new regulations robustly, consistently, and fairly across the whole of the sport.”

HISA Appeal to be Argued Aug. 30; Judge Denies Contempt Motion

By T. D. Thornton

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will now hear oral arguments Aug. 30–slightly earlier than expected–in the injunction appeal brought by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Authority (HISA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Both entities are defendants in an underlying lawsuit that alleges unconstitutionality and federal rulemaking procedure violations regarding HISA’s initial framework of regulations that went into effect July 1.

The Appeals Court docket previously indicated a September oral argument date was being planned.

 

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Fourteen HBPA Affiliates, Four Tracks Seek To Join HISA Lawsuit

by Paulick Report Staff

 

An alliance of 14 affiliates of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and four racetracks are seeking protection from the alleged harms of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Authority (HISA). They are asking a federal judge to allow them to participate in an existing lawsuit that claims HISA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) violated the Fourth and Seventh Amendments to the U.S. Constitution as well as the process by which federal agencies develop and issue regulations, T. D. Thornton of Thoroughbred Daily News reports.

The HBPA affiliates and the tracks on Friday filed a “motion to intervene” in United States District Court (Western District of Louisiana). If accepted by the judge, it would grant the petitioners status in the case alongside the lead plaintiffs from the states of Louisiana and West Virginia.

The HBPA affiliates seeking to join the lawsuit are Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington, Charles Town, and Tampa Bay Downs. The Colorado Horse Racing Association, the state’s statutorily recognized horsemen’s group, also wants to be an intervenor.

 

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HISA, FTC Seek Stay Of Federal Judge’s Injunction Blocking HISA In Louisiana, West Virginia

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority and the Federal Trade Commission have each filed emergency motions seeking stays of a federal judge’s injunction effectively blocking the Authority from enforcing its regulations in the states of Louisiana and West Virginia.

The motions were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.

The injunction, ordered July 26 by Judge Terry A. Doughty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division, was in conjunction with a lawsuit filed against the FTC, HISA and its board members and CEO by the states of Louisiana and West Virginia, their respective racing commissions, Jockeys’ Guild, Inc., Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association and five individuals.

 

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Attorney General Landry Leads Lawsuit Against Federal Takeover Of Horse Racing

Thursday, June 30, 2022

 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Attorney General Landry Leads Lawsuit Against Federal Takeover Of Horse Racing

BATON ROUGE, LA – Today the State of Louisiana, the State of West Virginia, the Louisiana Racing Commission, the Louisiana Horseman’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the Jockeys’ Guild, owners, trainers, and jockeys filed suit in the Western District of Louisiana asking the Court to enjoin the implementation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s regulations. HISA – the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, was passed December 22, 2020, in the dark of night and tucked into the COVID relief package is an attempt to federalize horse racing, an industry the State of Louisiana has regulated for two centuries.

“HISA has created a regulatory scheme that is, at best, half-baked and harmful to everyone in the industry it purports to exist to protect and at worst unconstitutional,” said Attorney General Jeff Landry. “We all agree integrity and safety in horseracing is of paramount importance. And while no industry is without problems, Louisiana and West Virginia, among other states, have always strictly and effectively regulated it. I firmly believe the people of Louisiana should be in control of this activity, not political and corporate elites in some faraway place, all because of a problem that surfaced in California. Having a London lawyer, Jonathan Young, as the head of HISA’s ADMC Enforcement Agency and a Bavarian Investigator, Gunter Younger, regulating Louisiana horseman over five thousand miles away is unacceptable.”

The HISA law purports to effectively substitute state regulatory commissions with a private corporation, setup 90 days prior to the passage of this Act, in charge of horseracing. This entity has only nominal oversight by the Federal Trade Commission. This newly-created private corporation then began to issue regulations, on which the FTC permitted, allowing very little time for public comment, leaving those that actually labor under them with little input or voice. In short, the entire way this law and the regulations associated with it came about shows a reckless disregard for the industry participants and a correspondingly reckless disregard for the impact to our states. Not just for Louisiana, but for all states that engage in horseracing. The regulations are unclear, inconsistent, and violate due process. It is apparent that the HISA is shifting its own lack of preparedness to the industry and the states.

Congress recklessly set up this massive regulatory scheme that is onerous and unfair to everyone. Then, adding insult to injury, it is taxing the people who work the hardest and receive the least to pay for it while showing no interest in the safety of the sport’s most at-risk participant – the thoroughbred jockey. The Jockey Guild, which represents an entire industry of dedicated men and women at the very heart of this industry and for whom rider safety is paramount, has expressed its concerns about the reckless implementation of this law, but its comments were ignored.

This suit clearly shows that HISA is not prepared to assume control or supervision over racing. For example, HISA proposed a registration rule that also requires covered persons to be registered by July 1 and accredited by HISA. However, “covered persons” and the definition of “accredited” are unclear to just about everyone. Making matters even worse, the FTC posted its apparent approval of yet another set of rules at 8 p.m. last night, June 30, injecting even more confusion.

HISA announces FTC Approval of Additional Rules & Distribution of 2022 Cost Assessments to States

April 1, 2022 – The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) reached significant milestones this week with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approving the proposed Enforcement and Methodology Assessment Rules in addition to the distribution of the 2022 cost assessments to state racing commissions. As the July 1, 2022 program effective date for the Racetrack Safety Program approaches, these developments are the latest steps forward in HISA’s mission to make racing safer and protect the integrity of the sport through uniform rules, enforcement mechanisms and accreditation standards.

“These developments bring us closer to fulfilling our mandate to protect the wellbeing of both horse and rider through uniform rules and accreditation standards,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. “The Racetrack Safety Program will expand veterinary oversight, impose surface maintenance and testing requirements, enhance jockey safety and implement voided claim rules, among other important measures that will go into effect on July 1.”

The Enforcement Rule (8000 Series) describes a range of violations and civil sanctions, establishes procedures for disciplinary and racetrack accreditation hearings, and grants the Authority necessary investigatory powers. Its approval by the FTC indicates that the rules meet the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act’s (the Act) requirement to define violations and provide for adequate due process, including impartial hearing officers or tribunals commensurate with the seriousness of the alleged violation. In developing these rules, the Authority relied to a great extent upon rules governing horseracing as they currently exist in most states.

The annual assessments that state racing commissions are receiving today were determined by the FTC approved Methodology Assessment Rule (8500 Series), which outlines a process designed to ensure fairness and equity across thoroughbred racing jurisdictions. The cost calculations represent each state’s proportionate share of HISA’s 2022 budget as required under the Act. Under the rule, HISA calculated 50% of each state racing commission’s cost according to the total number of starts in covered races and the remaining half based on starts weighted for purses in covered races.

It is HISA’s intention to work with relevant stakeholders on an ongoing basis to evolve and improve the rules as more data become available and as circumstances dictate.

Federal Trade Commission Approves HISA Racetrack Safety Rules, Accreditation Standards

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Friday approved the rules and accreditation standards that comprise the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s (HISA) Racetrack Safety Program, marking a major milestone in HISA’s mission to protect the wellbeing of equine and human athletes along with the integrity of the sport. With the FTC’s approval, HISA will now move forward with robust industry education efforts ahead of the program’s July 1, 2022, implementation date.

“The Racetrack Safety Program’s multi-faceted approach will enable veterinarians, horsemen and all racing participants to optimize the safety of every horse before they set foot on the track while also increasing our understanding of the conditions that contribute to equine injuries,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. “The importance of this program cannot be overstated as we build on advances the industry has already made by implementing national, uniform rules and regulations, increasing accountability, and using data- and research-driven solutions to enhance the safety of our horses and jockeys.  We sincerely believe that this data will generate the information we need to help prolong equine and jockey careers.”

In drafting the rules, the Racetrack Safety Committee examined existing rules and best practices in addition to seeking input from state racing commissions, racing participants and other experts and industry organizations in a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process. The interested public had further opportunities to provide input on the draft rules via the HISA website and during the FTC’s public comment period.  Highlights of the Racetrack Safety Program include:

  • Expanded veterinary oversight;
  • Surface maintenance and measurement standards;
  • Enhanced reporting requirements;
  • Collection and analysis of medication, treatment, injury, and fatality data;
  • A voided claim rule;
  • The transfer of claimed horses’ medical information; and
  • Jockey concussion and medical care reporting.

Starting on July 1, all tracks that are accredited with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) will receive interim accreditation, while tracks that are not accredited with the NTRA will be granted a one-year provisional accreditation and be given a reasonable period to achieve compliance as long as they are demonstrating continuous progress. HISA intends to work with individual racetracks and state racing jurisdictions, recognizing that compliance with new legal requirements on day one is not realistic.

“We are gratified that after a rigorous process, the FTC has overwhelmingly approved the Racetrack Safety regulations and national accreditation standards. The next step in the process will be for HISA to share cost assessments with each of the states by April 1, 2022,” explained Dr. Susan Stover, Chair of the Racetrack Safety Committee. “These new rules will decrease fatalities by detecting horses with mild pre-existing conditions through expanded veterinary oversight and the review of medication and treatment records and training histories. They will also provide a window into understanding and preventing the development of mild injuries in the first place via uniform surface maintenance standards and ongoing data analysis.”

The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which is challenging the federal legislation that created HISA, issued the following statement on Saturday:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday, March 3, 2022, issued an order approving without exception all the racetrack safety regulations propounded by the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Authority (HISA). The rubber-stamp order accepted without issue all of the proposed rules as well as acceptance of the Authority’s responses to the comments submitted by industry participants.
The order recognized that many of the comments by industry stakeholders were useful and constructive to improve the rules. Yet, the FTC refused to disapprove any rule, nor did it direct such constructive changes be incorporated prior to approval. Instead, the FTC took the position that it would welcome future proposed rule modifications that the Authority decides to submit in response to comments received.
This FTC order makes crystal clear that this private entity of self-appointed rule-makers (i.e., The Authority) has unfettered power without governmental oversight to control the horseracing industry.
The illusion of governmental supervisory control was clearly dispelled with the FTC approving all of the Authority’s proposals without exception. It also demonstrated that this private entity will make the rules without regard to the constructive comments of industry stakeholders.
The FTC’s order affirms the significant concerns expressed in pending litigation that such a delegation of control is unconstitutional and that the input of those closest to the horseracing industry is no longer relevant.

NHBPA, State Horsemen’s Groups File Suit To Halt HISA; Jockey Club ‘Confident Law Is Constitutionally Sound And Legal’

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The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, together with state affiliates in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia (Mountaineer) have filed a federal civil suit in an attempt to put the brakes on the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, names the Federal Trade Commission and several of its employees, as well as the people tasked with forming the Nominating Committee for the new federal authority.

The suit seeks to have HISA and a number of its elements declared unconstitutional, to enjoin defendants from taking any action to implement HISA, as well as nominal damages of $1 and compensatory damages of any fees charged to horsemen by the new authority.

The lawsuit is being handled by The Liberty Justice Center, a non-profit legal center “that represents clients at no charge and was founded to fight against political privilege,” according to its press release about the case.

 

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