World racing body adds weight to anti-doping movement

Chairman Louis Romanet at Monday's 49th Conference of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in Paris on Monday.
Chairman Louis Romanet at Monday’s 49th Conference of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in Paris on Monday.

Racing’s world coordinating body has added its support to the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, which is leading the fight for clean racing in the US.

Louis Romanet, chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), said creating a uniform system for the regulation of medications in American horse racing is of “critical importance”.

In joining the Coalition, the IFHA, which has 62 member countries, has given its support for the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015. This bill, introduced in July 2015 to the House of Representatives by Congressmen Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), will direct the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to create an independent, racing-specific, non-governmental and non-profit organisation to bring uniformity and clean sport to horse racing.

“The whole world has endorsed our efforts,” said Arthur Hancock, a co-founder of the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA).  “This is huge.  For years and years we have been fighting for clean racing in America.  IFHA’s support will help us get there.”

The IFHA strives to coordinate and harmonize the rules of its 62 member countries regarding breeding, racing and wagering in a manner that ensures the quality and fairness of racing and protects the welfare of horses and jockeys.

WHOA has promoted Article 6 of the IFHA’s International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering from its inception in 2012. This is a voluntary agreement for use by recognised racing and breeding authorities.

Hancock said WHOA looked forward to working together with IFHA toward its common goals and the former’s mission to bring US racing jurisdictions in sync with international standards.

The IFHA was founded in 1993 to promote proper regulation and best practices on international horse racing matters. It held its 49th annual conference on Monday, October 5 at the offices of France Galop in Paris with delegates from 52 countries and several racing executives and journalists in attendance.

“The international horse racing community must work together if we are to achieve high standards in testing and enforcement of our equine athletes to protect their health and ensure a safe environment,” Romanet said.

“Since its creation, the IFHA has sought to protect the integrity, quality and fairness of horse racing worldwide in the interest of both the horses and the general public. We believe that the goal of this legislation is very much in line with our mission.”

The Water Hay Oats Alliance is a member of The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI) – whose membership also includes the Breeders’ Cup Ltd., the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association, the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Veterinary Medicine Association, The Jockey Club, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders, the Meadowlands Racetrack, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Centaur Gaming, and Arapahoe Park.

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