Stuart S. Janney III:
Edwin Moses became a household name in this country with his accomplishments in the Olympic Games of 1976 and 1980. In fact, over a period of nine years and nine months, he won 122 consecutive races. Think about that for a second. It certainly leaves American Pharaoh with some work to do.
His achievements since then have been just as impressive. He has a true appreciation for the level playing field we hear so much about, and he is widely respected for his anti‑doping efforts.
He maintains a deep devotion to fairness for all competitors. I think by the time he finishes his talk today everyone in this room and everyone watching this live video stream will understand why the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity is supporting the bill that the Governor just mentioned.
That would bring USADA into the Thoroughbred industry.
Edwin, thanks very much for being here.
Edwin C. Moses:
Thank you very much for the introduction. I'm very pleased to be here today. It's a real pleasure for USADA to be here and to be able to be around to experience and talk to lots of stakeholders here, talk to people who are very passionate about horsemanship and the sport, and to see the influence of families and generations of families and the love of horses. So it really gives me pleasure to be here.
When I was running near the end of my career, I was asked by a reporter, “How do you do it? How are you able to go out and win 122 races in a row over a period of nine years, nine months and nine days?”
And I wasn't able to say, “Oh, it was nothing!” because it really was something.
It was my passion for sport and doing it the right way.
One of my sayings since back [revolved around] what it is like to be out there on the track running at the Olympics, going over hurdles and doing it without a coach, without a trainer. And I'm quoted as saying this, I said, "If you can imagine what it's like to be [both]the horse and the jockey..."
You know, my legs ‑‑ it's really true, my legs are the horse, my arms and legs and physical body are the horse, but every night I have to go to sleep and think about what kind of training I'm going to do.
When I'm out on the track, it's pretty much I'm on auto drive for 47 seconds where my brain and my spirit is driving this body as a horse would. So essentially for all those races I was the horse and the jockey.
So I feel for people in your sport, and I understand what it's like to have that kind of intense involvement in sports and athletics.
But growing up, I was the most unlikely person to become an Olympic champion. I was 5'7, and 117 pounds in my sophomore and junior year of high school, I was the smallest guy on the football team. But I was academic. I liked science and biology and physics and so forth.
But it was only through my dedication and preparation and love for sport and the ability to stay in track and field longer than people who were much, much better than me at that age that I went to the top three years later and became an Olympic champion.
So it's that love for the sport as well as my gratitude for life lessons that the sport has provided me which has led me to serve as an advocate for clean competition and the rights of clean athletes for more than 30 years.
I know that some of you have had the opportunity to hear from our CEO Travis Tygart back in 2012, and I believe he might have come up last year as well.
But for those of you who may be less familiar with the work that we do at USADA. USADA is recognized by Congress as the Independent Antidoping Association for Olympic, Paralympic, Pan‑American Sport and the United States, including all of the, I think, 28 Olympic events.
USADA is also independent administrator of the UFC Fighting, if you can imagine that. We're contracted with them and started on July 1st to run drug testing for a brutal, very combative gladiator sport, and they are probably under the best doping control program in professional sports right now.
We run it, we regulate it, and we test athletes all over the world. Our sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport and protect the rights of clean athletes.
We do this by providing education, providing cutting edge science, implementing robust testing programs, conducting investigations and holding accountable those who would want to use dangerous performance‑enhancing drugs to cheat their competitors.
USADA was first approached about potential horse racing and anti-doping legislation by members of the Congress in 2012, and since that time we've heard from many of you who are concerned that your sport is facing the same challenges that Olympic sport was facing 15 to 20 years ago.
I know the McKinsey report presented here last year gave you a glimpse into the current status of anti-doping issues in your sport, but I'm not here to beat up on the horse racing industry or to talk to you about what isn't working.
I'm here today because USADA has been asked by both legislators and industry stakeholders to share our anti‑doping expertise. I'm here today because many of you in this room and others around the country are justifiably concerned about the substantial affect the use of dangerous performance‑enhancing substances are having on your sport.
And USADA has nearly 15 years of experience in working to fulfill our mission for clean athletes fighting against cheating in sport.
I'm here because at this moment in time horse racing has an opportunity to take a new path and to make a serious change to protect the future of the sport. We have been asked to help. But now is a time for action and not just talk.
I don't have to tell you that in the sport of horse racing, which is built on the integrity of competition, nothing is more important than a clean, level playing field. Not just for bettors, but more importantly for the health and safety of the horses and jockeys whose lives depend on it.
What we have heard from in this horse racing industry, and as the McKinsey report showed, the current regulatory framework has created a situation where anti-doping rules drastically vary from state to state with a wide disparity in the effectiveness of testing and enforcement.
This is just like what was happening in the Olympic movement when I was competing in the '80s. During that time and not only in the United States, but around the world, there were a myriad of different rules where some countries and some sports were allowed different drugs where others didn't. And there were different sanctions depending on the sport and the country and the politics of the sport in that country.
It was very clear that the current system didn't work. You couldn't have a system where the fox was guarding the hen house, as it breeds levels of suspicion, favoritism and unequal enforcement of the rules of the game.
It was a system that eroded the integrity of the sport, the confidence of the athletes and ultimately affected the bottom line because TV revenues were down, the sponsors were worried to be involved in a sports business where fans didn't have confidence in the results that they were seeing.
It also put the health and safety of athletes at extreme risk.
Athletes of my generation, myself included, who were doing it the right way and competing clean became extremely frustrated by the dirty sports culture that allowed cheaters to prosper.
It is because athletes took a stand and demanded that an independent organization be established to create universally applicable rules and to enforce those rules equally across all sports that we have USADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency. That is a result of athletes stepping up to the plate and demanding a clean sport, and I was the athlete with the big mouth and have had the biggest mouth for the longest time.
But it was athletes ultimately that demanded a clean sport in track and field, out‑of‑competition testing was started, and then we took that program to the Olympic Committee, demanded that they do something, which they did, and then all the 28 sports in the Olympic games had mandatory in- and out‑of‑competition drug testing.
But it was athlete-driven and driven by people that enjoyed the sport, and people that practiced the sport, and people that wanted to have a level playing field.
What we did in the Olympic movement is exactly what many of you are willing to do now. We worked together with both sport as well as government and created uniform rules for coordination of policies at every level.
When I say sport and government, I want to be very clear that USADA is not a governmental agency. We're an independent, non‑profit, 501(c) 3.
I know that those opposed to the current proposed legislation often try to claim it is big government coming in, and this is simply inaccurate.
In fact, government isn't involved in the implementation of our program at all. We're a lean, nimble, high‑performing, results‑driven organization -- just like the athletes we represent and protect.
Over the last 15 years, the global anti‑doping system has grown and developed as science and best practices have evolved and developed. Among those improvements and as those improvements occur we can develop anti-doping programs as what we refer to as the matrix of effectiveness.
It is a measure we can look at to [assess] the components of any effective anti‑doping program; as we go through these together, I encourage you to think about them in the context of the sport of horse racing, and not think about how the current system in the sport does or does not measure up to this matrix and how the current proposal would achieve these universally accepted criteria for effectiveness.
Number one, first and foremost: is the program independent and free from interference from outside interests and conflicts? As I said before, a program can't be effective in a situation where the fox is guarding the hen house. We know that it is difficult, if not impossible, for a sport to both police and promote itself.
At USADA, we must always maintain the utmost independence, including myself and the rest of our board of directors, who cannot have any interest paid or unpaid with any sport that we oversee.
Our board of directors provide their independent expertise in sports as well as in science, business, ethics and the legal field. We noted if USADA was independent and focused solely on our commission for clean athletes, we would not have been able to conduct any of our more high profile investigations including the investigation into the sport of cycling and Lance Armstrong.
In anti‑doping, we're often faced with the need to do what is right even when it isn't popular. Being beholden to outside interests would make it impossible to do the work that we do.
Number two is our year round, no notice, out‑of‑competition testing for both blood and urine with advanced analysis for EPO, which is a blood doping chemical, HGH, human growth hormone, and other substances, and it's that information used as a part of a longitudinal data collection program.
Experience has taught us that being unpredictable in executing the testing is absolutely paramount. If an athlete knows the only time they're going to be tested is when they show up at the race, they're going to dope as much as they can out‑of‑competition, assuring they'll be clean on race day. That's typically what happens.
If all of your tests are happening in competition, then you aren't being effective.
You also have to be able to collect long‑term data on an athlete to monitor that athlete's own biological levels overtime. This ensures athletes aren't able to get away with using small doses of substances and avoid detection.
Number three: is there an exhaustive list of prohibited substances and methods that are published and updated regularly? A prohibited list of substances and methods can't just be arbitrary, it has to be in line with current cutting edge scientific standards as Dr. Anderson pointed out.
In our current system, a group of independent scientific experts evaluate the prohibitive list of year to ensure that it is current, and that the list is publicly published. All athletes in all sports around the world are held to that same list. If the list of substances and methods you prohibit aren't current with what athletes may be using, then that list is not effective.
Number four: does the program implement the best legal and scientific policies and practices as they evolve, which must include adequate sanctions and due process protections for those accused of doping violations.
One of the reasons that USADA and the World Anti‑Doping Agency were created was to ensure that all athletes are treated fairly and equally under the rules and they are provided due process prior to any sanction. If athletes don't believe the rules are fair and equally applied, then the program breaks down and they no longer trust that anti-doping organizations are protecting clean sports.
Research has always shown that fair and adequate sanctions also serve as a deterrent to athletes who might otherwise cheat. Sanctions should be strong enough to deter intentional dopers, but also fair when there are mitigating circumstances. We have an independent arbitration process in place which provides the opportunity for the evidence, including live witness testimony, to be evaluated fully before the appropriate sanction is determined. But it's swift, cost‑effective, while getting to the truth.
Fifth: is there an investment of significant money and time into scientific research for the detection of new doping substances and techniques and for the pursuit of scientific excellence into the doping control?
Doping substances and methods are constantly evolving, so we must invest in ongoing scientific research or else we won't have the technology we need to catch a sophisticated and well‑resourced cheaters. We can also add substances and methods to the list, but new substances and methods must be discovered and used.
We have to be able to detect those substances as well. In the sport of horse racing, I know that there is a lot of discussion about the use of Lasix, but the conversation can't just be about today's Lasix, you also have to focus on the next generation of Lasix‑type substance or Lasix version two which would inevitably be created in the future if it isn't already being used and detected now.
Sixth: are there established partnerships with law enforcement to ensure that in addition to holding athletes accountable, those that illegally manufacture traffic distribute these dangerous drugs and who are typically outside the sports jurisdiction are also held accountable for their illegal behavior?
Unfortunately, many of these dangerous drugs are easily accessible, particularly with the ability to shop on the internet. It is the key that we work collaboratively, not only with other anti‑doping organizations, but also to work with those in law enforcement who can assist with handling these illegal acts.
Finally, in an area I'm personally very passionate about, we must make significant investments into education. Sport has the ability to teach life's lessons that are only learned from participation and ethical competition. Education is perhaps our most important tool. We must provide athletes, their coaches, trainers and other athlete support personnel with the information and education they need in order to be successful. We must empower them to be able to make safe, ethical, and healthy choices.
At USADA, education is a top priority, and we engage with athletes and athlete support personnel in many, many ways through online tutorials, publications, in‑house presentations, mobile applications, and by being easily accessible by picking up the phone or sending us an email.
Our education efforts aren't just focused on the rules and responsibilities, though those are important, but we also help athletes to feel connected to the larger clean sport mission, and to the role that they play in protecting a sport that they love for future generations.
We know that sports, perhaps, unlike any other institution in our society, has a unique way to break down barriers and to teach valuable lessons in life. Our goal is to make sure that everyone is informed so that only those people who intentionally cheat are the ones held accountable under the rules.
Ultimately, we hope to put ourselves out of business, meaning nobody is cheating with performance‑enhancing drugs because they know it is against the fundamental values of sport, integrity, and fair play.
The same values that give meaning to a true victory have enormous market appeal. We've seen some of our anti‑doping counterparts in other countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom conduct effective national testing programs in the sport of horse racing. We know that real change can happen. I don't have to tell you about the special role that horse racing has in America's culture for well over a hundred years. We need only to look at the beautiful racecourse here in Saratoga which just celebrated its 152nd birthday to see the impact it's still having today.
Over the last 35 years I've had a front‑row seat to see what change in Olympic movement, anti‑doping, to see the changes in Olympic anti‑doping, and I can tell you all the challenges and growing pains that inevitably come from serious fundamental changes are worth it.
It is absolutely worth it to protect the economic future of the sport and the health and safety of those who participate.
At USADA, we stand ready to help as we can and to help share our experiences to bring an anti‑doping program here to the sport of horse racing, and I appreciate what you said, Governor Beshear, about the willingness and the need and the fortitude that it's going to take to make this a successful program.
We at USADA stand willing and ready to put together a program that everyone in the sport can be proud of.
Thank you very much.