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Delay in "historic" US plans
They have been hotly debated in the racing world for many years, the relatively lax medication rules in the USA. Now they wanted to tighten the reins. New uniform anti-doping rules for all US states, described as a "historic moment" for the sport, were supposed to be in place - but after only four days they were delayed by a federal judge`s decision.

More than 700 samples were taken by the newly formed Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (Hisa) after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gave approval for regulation, but the measures will now be introduced on 1 May at the earliest. Earlier, an injunction for a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act had gone into effect.

The lawsuit against Hisa was filed by a number of groups, including the state of Texas, and the plaintiffs protested that there was only one day between the launch of the Hisa programme and the Federal Trade Commission`s approval of the regulation. US District Court Judge James Hendrix ruled that it was a "substantial" change to the regulations, and under Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act, there must be a 30-day period between issuance and implementation.

Any positive samples collected during the four days of Hisa`s operation will be subject to the previous state regulations. Lisa Lazarus, executive director of Hisa, said the statewide implementation of the new measures was a "historic moment" for the sport and expressed confidence that the uniform measures would continue.

The change comes after a series of high-profile doping cases in the US, including the drug failure of 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit and the FBI`s uncovering of a doping ring linked to former trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis.

Lazarus told Bloodhorse: "We will return the keys to the States and are ready to take over again on 1 May. At the end of the day, we`re here to serve the industry and I think that just creates more chaos, so now we know it`s 30 days and we can plan and communicate that so we don`t have this back and forth."

The National Horsemen`s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), which is leading the protest against the new rules, welcomed the court ruling. The association argued that the new rules would cause significant harm to owners and trainers and has already taken legal action.

HBPA Executive Director Eric Hamelback said: "We are very pleased that the National HBPA has once again defeated HISA in court. It was reckless and irresponsible of the agency and the FTC to rush to implement these brand new rules this weekend. Riders need time, and we were happy to stand up for them once again."

Let`s hope this is just a delay and these important plans can be implemented soon.

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