The implementation of the first nationwide anti-doping program for racehorses in the U.S. has been delayed by at least one month as it awaits approval by the federal agency that oversees it, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) said.
The new rules, which had been scheduled to take effect late last month, will replace the patchwork of state-by-state regulations after high-profile drug scandals and horse deaths led the federal government to intervene.
“We are disappointed by today’s procedural ruling related to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) approval processes,” HISA said in a statement on Friday.
“This ruling institutes a 30-day waiting period prior to the implementation of HISAs Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program and solely addresses a procedural concern with the FTC’s approval order.
“It does not address the substance of the ADMC rules or the constitutionality of the ADMC Program or HISA more broadly.” HISA officials say the electronic tracking system for horses will reduce fatalities while finding and punishing bad actors, key steps for a sport trying to win back public trust.
HISA’s racetrack safety program, which launched in July 2022, remains in effect.