- The NTRA announced its new Safety and Integrity Alliance, the latest attempt to impose some kind of uniformity to the industry's efforts in....well, safety and integrity. You can read the entire initiative here [pdf document]. And yes, it does call for the out of competition testing for EPO's that John Sabini was so hesitant about the other day.
In fact, all of the rules and regulations proposed seem worthy. Problem is of course that NTRA has no real means to enforce the regulations it proposes.
Alex Waldrop, the chief executive of the NTRA, said that benefits from the certification program will be "market-driven," contending that racetracks that comply with the program will draw a larger share of wagering dollars than those that do not. He acknowledged, however, that the NTRA - a marketing and lobbying organization that draws the bulk of its funding from tracks and horsemen's organization - has no power to enforce the rules.Ah, the "marketplace" approach. We've seen how well that's been working out of late. Whatsmore, NTRA has selected Tommy Thompson, the Republican former governor of Wisconsin, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for the W. Administration, and, briefly, candidate for President of the United States. Hopefully, Thompson is recovered from the case of brainlock he developed during the latter, when he told a Jewish group that earning money is "sort of part of the Jewish tradition."
"The market will determine that it's valuable to be accredited," Waldrop said. "We can't make them do it. But if they don't they're out of the alliance." [DRF]
Thompson also said during one of the GOP presidential debates that it's OK for an employer opposed to homosexuality to fire a gay worker. Later, he explained that he misunderstood the question, and that he wasn't feeling very well.
"I've been very sick. ... I was very sick the day of the debate. I had all of the problems with the flu and bronchitis that you have, including running to the bathroom. I was just hanging on. I could not wait until the debate got off so I could go to the bathroom."Oh man. Well, this should be good for a few yuks if nothing else.
[UPDATE: More on Thompson over at Not to the Swift.]