The United States’ efforts to clean up its sport and level the playing field will take another step on Monday with the implementation of a new anti-doping program.
The main drug is testing in horse racing and managing events, as well as matching penalties for racing rules that vary from state to state.
The Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act was created by the federal government nearly three years ago. It has two programs: the first for safety in the stadiums, which began to be applied in July, and the drug control and anti-doping program.
“There’s one rule. You can be in Kentucky, you can be in Ohio, you can be in California and you’re going to be judged by the same standard,” HISA Director Lisa Lazarus said.
The Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Unit — an independent agency — reached agreements with state commissions for racing and circuses that will go live at the beginning of Monday.
Seven of the largest racetrack states — Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma — will continue to use current staff to collect samples.
The cities where the people live are called after mid-April in talks with the HISA agency.
The agency will operate laboratories in Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, California, Pennsylvania and Kentucky to analyze the samples.
“First, the laboratory will be certified and have the same standards at the national level,” said executive director of the monitoring agency Ben Moiser.
Unlike other sports bodies such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, the 38 state leagues operate under different rules.
However, HISA struggled during its short life.
Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that it was overwhelming and that Congress had given too much power to a group it created to oversee the circus industry. Congress changed the original legislation and gave the Trade Commission authority to oversee HISA.
There are other legal challenges in Texas and Louisiana that would not allow federal appeals to HISA to operate, so state regulators continue to rule the roost.