HISA Appoints Lasix Committee
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority has announced the members of an advisory committee that has been convened to oversee a three-year study on the use of furosemide (Lasix) during the 48-hour period before the start of a race, including the effect on equine health and the integrity of competition.
The establishment of the committee for the study of furosemide administration and the requirements of the study are specifically mandated and set forth in the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020. The HISA Board of Directors delegated its authority to select the advisory committee members to HISA’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control Committee.
The advisory committee will oversee the process of issuing a request for proposal to conduct the research, reviewing grant applications from academic researchers and allocating grant funding for the study. When the independent scientific research has been completed and published, it will be presented to the advisory committee, which then will relay the findings and their recommendations to the HISA Board of Directors.
The following are the advisory committee members.
Dr. Emma Adam, a veterinarian with more than 24 years of racing experience in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Australia; Alan Foreman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Vice Chairman of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium; Dr. Scott Hay, a veterinarian at Teigland, Franklin and Brokken, where he focuses on lameness, performance evaluations and purchase examinations; Dr. Ted Hill, a racing steward for The Jockey Club with more than 23 years of experience; Dr. Rob Holland, a respiratory and infectious disease specialist in Lexington, Ky., and well-versed in equine drug-testing processes; Dr. Heather Knych, a Professor of Clinical Veterinary Pharmacology and Head of the Pharmacology Section at the K.L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Pharmacology Laboratory at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California-Davis; Ryan Murphy, Executive Director for the Partnership for Clean Competition, the leading anti-doping research organization dedicated to the protection of clean athletes; Dr. Foster Northrop, a practicing racetrack veterinarian with more than 35 years of industry experience; Dr. Scott Palmer, Equine Medical Director for the New York State Gaming Commission; Dr. N. Edward Robinson, a nationally recognized veterinarian, academic and researcher who spent nearly 50 years at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine; and Dr. Corinne Sweeney, an American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine specialist who has spent the past 44 years at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
The HISA law states that the authority “not later than three years after the program effective date shall direct the advisory committee to submit to the authority a written report on the study conducted that includes recommended changes, if any, to the prohibition (of race-day Lasix).” The authority then, by unanimous vote of its Board of Directors, may modify the prohibition, and any such modification shall apply to all states beginning on the date that is three years after the program’s effective date.
In order for a unanimous vote to effect a modification of the race-day prohibition, the vote must include unanimous adoption of each of the following findings: that the modification is warranted; that the modification is in the best interests of horse racing; that Lasix has no performance-enhancing effect on individual horses; and that public confidence in the integrity and safety of racing would not be adversely affected by the modification.