PA Racing Commission indicates AMDC Program won’t resume until May 22

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: April 25, 2023

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program, which was expected to resume May 1, will not be re-activated until May 22, according to officials with the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission.

The PHRC at its April 25 meeting provided an update on the ADMC Program, which is being handled by the HISA Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit. The latter falls under Drug Free Sport International, which has a contract with HISA to handle the equine drug-testing program.

HIWU, as it is called, launched March 27 only to be suspended for 30 days March 31 after an injunction was issued in one of several ongoing legal cases challenging HISA. The court ruled the Federal Trade Commission, under which HISA falls, violated its own administrative procedures in approving the AMDC Program rules and regulations as far at timing goes.

The relaunch of the program was set for May 1, several days before the Kentucky Derby. May 22 falls two days after the Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown. The program is expected to be in place for the Belmont Stakes, third leg of the Triple Crown, in early June.

PHRC Thoroughbred Bureau Director Tom Chuckas informed the commission of the development. PHRC staff has been in regular contact with HISA and HIWU officials given the fact the PHRC has agreements with both on the ADMC Program and laboratory services for drug testing.

The Intergovernmental Services Agreement and Laboratory Services Agreement in Pennsylvania have been sent to state officials for final approval.

In related business, Chuckas said the PHRC recently conducted 42 out-of-competition tests, 12 at Parx Racing and 30 at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows, a Standardbred track. The PHRC integrity hotline launched in March 2022 has now received 124 calls (91 Thoroughbred and 33 Standardbred), with 117 cases investigated and resolved and seven still open.