first published in the January 2023 Equiery

The Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Inc. (THA) issued a press release on December 12, 2022 stating that “the FTC today rejected ‘without prejudice’ HISA’s proposed Anit-Doping and Medication Control rules, which means they will not go into effect on January 1, 2023.”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an “order disapproving the Anti-Doping and Medication Control proposed rule” submitted by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) to the FTC after a public comment period. Part of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act required that all rules must be submitted to the FTC for approval.

The FTC’s order comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declared the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act unconstitutional. THA explained that “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.”

In response to FTC’s decision, HISA released the following statement:
“HISA appreciates the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) decision to deny HISA’s draft Anit-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 towards the implementation of a uniform, independent anti-doping and medication control program that is administered consistently and fairly across the United States.”