Unable To Reach Final Terms: Horseracing Integrity And Safety Authority Suspends Negotiations With USADA - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Unable To Reach Final Terms: Horseracing Integrity And Safety Authority Suspends Negotiations With USADA

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) announced the suspension of negotiations pertaining to USADA's potential future role as the independent enforcement agency for HISA's Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) program. As mandated by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020, USADA and HISA had been engaged in good faith negotiations but were unable to reach final terms. To date, USADA has led the process of authoring draft rules for HISA's ADMC program. As set forth in the HISA statute, the Authority is evaluating options for engagement with other leading independent enforcement agencies.

The draft Racetrack Safety regulations that were submitted to the FTC earlier this month will be implemented as scheduled by the FTC on July 1, 2022, following review, public comment and education periods. There will be a temporary delay in submission of the Anti-Doping and Medication Control draft rules to the FTC until a new independent agency can be identified and an agreement finalized. This will allow HISA and another independent enforcement agency to reach an agreement and build on the progress that has been made to-date with USADA. HISA anticipates this process will permit the full implementation of the final ADMC rules in early 2023.

“We are deeply grateful for USADA's hard work, expertise and leadership in working with HISA's Anti-Doping and Medication Committee to develop comprehensive draft rules in a remarkably short period of time,” said HISA Board Chair Charles Scheeler. “HISA will continue our search for an independent enforcement agency to oversee the Medication Control protocols. The Authority will also work with the FTC to ensure the Racetrack Safety Program advances on schedule. When operational, the program will provide critical enhancements to protect the health and safety of equine and human athletes.”

The USADA released the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed to announce that we have been unable to reach an agreement with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority for USADA to become the enforcement agency for the anti-doping and medication control program for thoroughbred racing under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.  After months of negotiations, we have been unable to enter an agreement in line with the requirements of the Act, and one which would have given us a reasonable chance to put in place a credible and effective program.  While we are obviously saddened by the outcome at this stage, we tried our absolute best to find a way forward but without success.

“While we desperately tried to reach an agreement to implement the program, without compromising our values, we have always said the passing of the legislation and the finalization of uniform, robust rules are huge victories for the horses and the equine industry.  We are honored to have been involved with these efforts to restore the integrity of thoroughbred horse racing. Though we are unsure what the future holds for USADA – if any – in this effort, we have offered to assist the Authority and others in the industry to ensure that the sport gets the program it needs and that the horses deserve.”

Eric Hamelback, NHBPA CEO:

“The National HBPA continues to stand steadfast behind our belief that the HISA Act is an unconstitutional delegation of authority to a private organization. With that said, after the events announced today we hope members of the Authority take into strong consideration partnering with an enforcement agency that understands the nuances of the horse-racing industry and recognizes the significant positive strides this industry has made in both safety and integrity. Now would be a perfect opportunity for the Authority to mesh the safety regulations that have been put forth with the best of the model rules currently established throughout the United States.”

Tom Rooney, Incoming NTRA President and CEO:

“The NTRA is fully supportive of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). We along with other leading industry stakeholders will continue to work with the HISA Authority toward a successful launch of HISA.”


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