Horse Racing

HISA’s anti-doping program suspended for 30 days

Calling HISA’s immediate implementation of the Anti-Doping Health Control Program on March 27 after receiving Federal Trade Commission approval a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, a federal judge suspended only 30-day anti-doping program until May 1st.

James Hendrix, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division, issued his ruling late on the afternoon of March 31 regarding an ongoing lawsuit challenging the Association’s HISA Protection and Mercy of the National Horsemen, the State of Texas, the Texas Racing Commission and others.

Hendrix writes: “When an agency issues a substantive rule—the kind of rule that governs our behavior—the agency typically has to wait 30 days from the time the final rule is enacted until the rule is released. effective. “This ensures that regulated parties have time to challenge the rule’s validity or self-compliance. But the anti-doping rule goes into effect the same day it is announced as official. As a result, , the promulgation rule (is) a violation of the APA, so the plaintiffs—and others—will have 30 days.”

While not as damaging as a court ruling late last year from the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a ruling declaring the law authorizing HISA unconstitutional and prompting lawmakers to pass clarification language on This winter to bolster its legitimacy with more FTC oversight of HISA, Friday’s ruling barred the ADMC Program.

“We will hand the keys back to the states and be ready to take over on May 1,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus.

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“The samples will be prosecuted according to state regulations if they are positive,” she later added. “We will expressly provide all administrative and operational support to the state racing commissions that we may by court order.”

HISA officials said any positive results over the next 30 days would not follow AMDC’s rules, and any rulings started during that time period would continue through the state process.

The National HBPA asked the court for relief earlier this week, arguing that riders could suffer irreparable harm if the ADMC rules take effect immediately.

“The ADMC Rule clearly affects the rights and obligations of individuals because it, among other things, requires insureds to file a surprise inspection of eligible facilities and to ensure guarantees that no prohibited substances are contained in an insured horse, and provides for significant financial penalties,” Hendrix wrote.

“We are very pleased that HBPA National has defeated HISA in court once again,” said HBPA National Executive Director Eric Hamelback. “It is reckless and irresponsible for the Agency and the FTC to rush to implement these brand new rules this weekend. The Riders need time and we are happy to represent them for once. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that HISA was unconstitutional in our case before and we hope they will do so again.”

Lazarus, speaking to the media in a video conference hours after the ruling was issued, said that while disappointed with the decision, she and other HISA officials chose not to appeal the delay. 30 days.

She called the ruling “related to the FTC process; it’s not really related to HISA.”

“Ultimately, we’re here to serve the industry and I think that’s just creating more chaos, so at this point we know it’s 30 days and we can plan it out.” plan for that and communicate that so we don’t have to go through this,” she said.

Friday’s court decision failed to address the constitutionality of HISA following legislative changes to the statute’s language.

The first samples of testing through the ADMC Program began Monday, although four states did not participate this week. Louisiana and West Virginia were not due to a preliminary order issued last year by Judge Terry Doughty of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, and Texas and Nebraska elected not to air the simulation out of state instead. under the supervision of HISA.

She said ADMC’s collection process went smoothly with more than 700 tests collected.

“If there are any positive results, we will return them to the states and they will have to make a legal judgment on what to do with those results,” Lazarus said. “I assume they will prosecute them but how they handle those legal commissions is up to the states.”

Lazarus said that while the ADMC Program is paused until May 1, HISA’s Track Safety Program—which regulates the use of mounts and horseshoes—remains in effect.

Lazarus said she is treating Friday’s ruling as an “obstacle in the road”. “We’re in a positive state,” she added.


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