RSS Feed for this Blog

Thursday, October 16, 2008

NTRA Initiative is Sort Of, Part Of....

- 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.

"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]
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."

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.]


Anonymous said...

The ultimate solution is very simple. Now that the NTRA and all the alphabet agencies and major racetracks are comfortable with the objectives of the undertaking, create a federally chartered private company to regulate/oversee/manage, whatever term you want to use, the effort. Use the 1978 Interstate Gaming Act as the tool, so if a racetrack's simulcast signal is transmitted across state lines, the rules of this new national racing company must be in place. No opting in or if you don't get in the public may not bet, just a uniform set of rules and practices that are mandatory. Why would the racing Pu-Bahs disagree if this "charter" accomplishes all their collective goals? I can wait no longer as the same old foxes seek to maintain control of the henhouse.

Anonymous said...

The "safety" initiative is particularly weak, focusing on protection of jockeys as opposed to the equine athlete.

I copy/paste the following, this from the same NTRA and AAEP that refuse to support the the ban of horse slaughter and transporation to and from the houses ;

"Aftercare for Retired Racehorses. Alliance members will commit to a nation-wide aftercare
system for our retired racehorses that meets the guidelines established by the American
Association of Equine Practitioners. The Alliance and the horseracing industry as a whole share
in the responsibility for providing care and retraining for racehorses after they can no longer
compete on the racetrack."

Anonymous said...

Rules without consequences are suggestions. If the NTRA doesn't have anything stronger than not being part of the "ALLIANCE" to wield, they will not effect anyone's behavior. Of course, given the NTRA's role as PR platform for the current status quo, who would expect them to actually try to tell tracks, trainers, or owners what to do? This Alliance lacks Integrity.