Horse racing drug watchdog

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The United States Anti-Doping Agency was to become the anti-doping and drug control regulatory body for Thoroughbred racing.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An agreement with Drug Free Sport International to control drugs in horse racing was announced Tuesday, two months before the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority took effect.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency was to become the anti-doping and drug control regulatory body for Thoroughbred racing. But at the end of December, the case came to a standstill.

Drug Free Sport International oversaw testing and enforcement with the NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA, men’s and women’s professional golf tours, and NASCAR.

The Kansas City-based company will create the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit, which will be led by a five-member advisory board chaired by Jonathan Taylor, a London-based partner at international law firm Bird & Bird.

He previously chaired the Compliance Review Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He also has years of experience as external legal adviser to the British Horseracing Authority and the International Equestrian Federation.

Other members of the advisory board are Dr. Larry Bowers, former scientific director of USADA; Dr. Larry Bramlage, an equine orthopedic surgeon in Kentucky; Sonja Keating, general counsel for the United States Equestrian Federation; and Günter Younger, Director of Intelligence and Investigations at WADA.

HISA goes into effect on July 1. It will be implemented in stages, with the racetrack safety program commencing immediately. Anti-doping and drug rules aren’t expected to begin until Jan. 1, 2023, leaving the 38 states where horse racing takes place in charge for now.

The sport’s lack of uniform rules across the United States was highlighted after Medina Spirit tested positive for a banned substance following the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

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