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The week marks the start of new anti-doping regulations in horse racing

Lisa Lazarus at Parx Racing 3-27-23
Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority
Lisa Lazarus at Parx Racing 3-27-23

It’s officially a new day when it comes to determining if medications given to racehorses are proper or not. New and enhanced anti-doping regulations took effect Monday at tracks all across the country. Lisa Lazarus is CEO of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, and she said one of the many facets of the new program is a paperless sample collection system.

“The horse is sampled. There’s a sort of standardized test kit across the country now. So, it’s the same shipping procedures, storing procedures at every track in the country,” said Lazarus.

Lazarus noted samples taken during the upcoming Keeneland Spring Meet and the Kentucky Derby in May will be subject to the new HISA (High-sah) rules. She added racing fans can be assured of the rigorous nature of testing and know it’s consistent and standardized.

The Parx Racing facility outside Philadelphia made history Monday. It became the first horse racing track in the country to test a horse under the new anti-doping regulations. Lazarus said the program should breed confidence among racing fans and those in the business.

“Allow owners and trainers to be confident that, if they’re following the rules, if they’re treating their horses properly, and they’re doing what’s right by the horse, that they’re not going to be disadvantaged by somebody who isn’t,” said Lazarus.

HISA said the program brings all testing and results management under one national authority, standardizes drug testing, and institutes clear and consistent penalties.

Here's the interview with Lisa Lazarus:


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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.