The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, designed to bring national drug testing as part of its oversight
plan for Thoroughbred racing passed in the Senate late Monday night. The bill was attached to the $1.4 trillion spending bill that includes $900 billion in pandemic relief. The HISA passed with bi-partisan support in the House this fall and was attached as an amendment.
The concept behind the bill is to bring more national structure to racing and hands over control of drug enforcement to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. It was supported by many groups in the industry including the Jockey Club, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association as well as the Breeders' Cup. However, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association were against it. "There were no horsemen's representative groups, period, that were consulted. Now I don't speak for anyone else, but at the end of the day I think it's still very evident that, in particular, veterinary leadership groups have not been included," said NHBPA CEO Eric Hamelback.
The spending bill, along with the HISA, must be signed by President Trump to become a law and it is expected that he will do so.