Bobby Zen

The National HBPA has filed a ‘motion to supplement the record’ to their longstanding case currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in which they challenge the lawfulness of the Horseracing Integrity and Security Authority. This new motion charges that it again shows that HISA, and not the FTC, is actually in charge of horseracing rules, pointing to the newly amended rules governing how Metformin cases were handled.

On Tuesday, June 4, HISA announced that some trainers whose horses had tested positive for Metformin would have their suspensions deferred while HISA sought additional guidance on the drug. Those rule changes were, by and large, a result of the lobbying of horsemen for HISA to make changes in the way Metformin cases were handled, due to the possibility of environmental contamination. Metformin is a widely prescribed diabetes medication, and in several cases, horsemen had said that it was regularly used by the horses’ handlers. The NHBPA concedes this point in the motion.

The new motion reads, “The new guidance document issued June 4, 2024, is a current example in addition to the score of existing examples provided by the NHBPA Appellants…The newest document again demonstrates the NHBPA Appellants’ point that HISA, not the FTC, has `the last word’ and `final say over horseracing rules.’ Though the new policy, announced through a press release, is in response to concerns raised by horsemen, it again represents an exercise of the Authority’s self-claimed `enforcement discretion’ to rewrite a rule from what the FTC approved to what the Authority now wants.”

The motion goes on to charge that the original Metformin guidance was flawed.

“In this instance, the document is doubly damning because in it the Authority admits it drafted the rule with a dubious scientific basis for the substance’s inclusion in the banned substances list, a problem that perhaps would have been avoided if the FTC had exercised more robust initial review than mere `consistency,’ i.e., rubber-stamping,” the motion reads.

“The National HBPA filed this motion yesterday opposing HISA’s policy change with respect to provisional suspensions and Metformin pending the RMTC’s scientific review,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. “It raises the question of why a horsemen’s group would oppose a measure that was proposed for horsemen, by the Horsemen’s Advisory Group, of which Dr. Doug Daniels, the NHBPA President, is a member. Instead of helping horsemen understand and comply with the rules, they’re expending resources opposing measures that have been requested by, and supported by, the very horsemen they represent.”

The post NHBPA Files Motion Over Metformin Change appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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