HIWU Relaunches Anonymous Whistleblower Platforms in Partnership with RealResponse; Platforms Now Accepting Tips for both ADMC and Racetrack Safety Programs


(New York, NY and Charlotte, NC)- The Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU) and RealResponse announced today the relaunch of its anonymous whistleblower platforms to enable Thoroughbred racing participants to submit tips regarding potential violations of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s (HISA) Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) and Racetrack Safety Programs. At the time of the original Program launch on March 27, 2023, the platforms were only accepting tips related to ADMC Program violations.

Individuals who would like to submit tips should utilize the following contact options:

Phone Line: (888) 714-HIWU (4498)
Text Line: (855) 901-TIPS (8477)
Email Address: hiwutips@hiwu.realresponse.com

“Opening up HIWU’s anonymous whistleblower platforms to those seeking to report potential Racetrack Safety Program violations in addition to ADMC violations strengthens HISA’s uniform and efficient approach to safety and integrity in racing. It also simplifies the process for horsemen and industry participants seeking to ensure a safe and clean sport, which benefits everyone,” said Ann McGovern, HISA’s director of Racetrack Safety.

The text and email platforms are supported through a partnership with RealResponse, the market leader in anonymous two-way communication, providing safe and secure reporting platforms for athletes, teams, and organizations worldwide. The telephone platform is supported by Ansafone. Using the designated telephone line, text line, or email address, any industry participant can anonymously submit information for review by HIWU’s Investigations Unit. Submissions are accepted 24/7, and whistleblowers have the option to volunteer their contact information if they are open to potential follow up from HIWU’s investigators.

“Horse racing is at the most significant crossroads in its history, and today’s announcement underscores how important it is to stay one step ahead of bad actors,” said RealResponse Founder and Chief Executive Officer David Chadwick. “Now more than ever, everyone in the industry – not just those who govern it – must be hypervigilant about the health, safety, and well-being of the jockeys and horses who power the sport. That is why we partnered with HIWU to create and implement the safest, fastest, and most confidential way to anonymously share information about the welfare of competitors and threats to the integrity of competition.”

Examples of violations of the ADMC and Racetrack Safety Programs that can be reported include, but are not limited to:

- Use/attempted use, administration/attempted administration, trafficking/attempted trafficking, or possession of a Banned Substance/Method.
- Use of a Controlled Medication Substance/Method in a manner contrary to horse welfare.
- Evasion of sample collection.
- Tampering or attempted tampering with the ADMC Program.
- Falsified or improper veterinary records.
- Paper training.
- Use of buzzers.
- Improper use of shockwave therapy.

Any activity negatively affecting horse welfare is a potential violation of the Racetrack Safety Program.

Examples of information that can be included in an anonymous tip include, but are not limited to:

- Names of Covered Horses.
- Names of specific trainers or other Covered Persons.
- Names of substances.
- Specific barns or other facilities.
- Other identifying information about Covered Persons or Covered Horses relevant to the potential violation.

Tips that are specific to HISA’s Racetrack Safety Program will be investigated by HIWU’s Investigations Unit, which will submit reports to HISA to be handled by HISA staff, as appropriate. ADMC Program violations will be investigated and prosecuted by HIWU.

“HIWU’s anonymous whistleblower platforms were well-received when the ADMC Program first launched in March, and we’re pleased to make them available again to help inform the work of our Investigations Unit,” said Michelle Pujals, general counsel for HIWU. “Expanding HIWU’s capabilities to accept tips regarding the Racetrack Safety Program will facilitate more effective investigatory operations to identify and catch those who compromise the integrity of the sport and the welfare of its athletes.”

Industry participants should note that the HIWU Investigations Unit will not respond to violations or inquiries that fall outside the jurisdiction of HISA, and such information should be reported to the relevant regulatory authorities.

About the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit

The Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU) was established in 2022 by Drug Free Sport International to administer the rules and enforcement mechanisms of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s (HISA) Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program. The ADMC Program establishes a centralized testing and results management process that applies uniform penalties for violations efficiently and consistently across all American Thoroughbred racing jurisdictions that HISA governs. HIWU oversees testing, educating stakeholders on the program, laboratory accreditation, investigation of potential violations, and prosecution of any such violations. For more information, please visit hiwu.org.

About the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority

When the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was signed into federal law, it charged the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) with drafting and enforcing uniform safety and integrity rules in Thoroughbred racing in the U.S. Overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), HISA is implementing, for the first time, a national, uniform set of rules applicable to every Thoroughbred racing participant and racetrack facility. HISA is comprised of two programs: the Racetrack Safety Program, which went into effect on July 1, 2022; and the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program, which resumed its implementation on May 22, 2023.

The Racetrack Safety Program includes operational safety rules and national racetrack accreditation standards that seek to enhance equine welfare and minimize equine and jockey injury. The Program expands veterinary oversight, imposes surface maintenance and testing requirements, enhances jockey safety, regulates riding crop use and implements voided claim rules, among other important measures.

The ADMC Program includes a centralized testing and results management process and applies uniform penalties for violations efficiently and consistently across the United States. These rules and enforcement mechanisms are administered by an independent agency, the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU), established by Drug Free Sport International (DFS). HIWU oversees testing, educates stakeholders on the Program, accredits laboratories, investigates potential ADMC violations and prosecutes any such violations.

About RealResponse

The RealResponse community includes more than one million athletes, coaches, administrators, and staff, across college and professional sports, governing bodies, and integrity units. All are focused on building safe and inclusive environments that elevate athletes' voices through the platform. Founded in 2015 with its signature custom-centric approach, RealResponse allows for real-time reporting, surveys, compliance support, competitive benchmarks, and metrics. These insights help advance an anonymous and open line of communication between athletes, participants, and their respective organizations. For more information, visit realresponse.com.

Contact: Alexa Ravit, Director of Communications & Outreach  
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