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The Horseracing Integrity Act
 By Winniefield Park   •   21st Aug 2018   •   645 views   •   0 comments


One of the most contentious issues in horse racing is the use of drugs - both legal and illegal to improve performance. Race tracks across the U.S. have rules, with novel sized books of regulations, regarding the use and misuse of various drugs. Until now, each state had its own set of rules. And that, of course, has led to confusion and sometimes abuse.

To standardize the rules around using drugs and doping, the Horseracing Integrity Act, introduced in the House of Representatives was introduced this month. And unlike former bills that have been introduced, this would cover not only Thoroughbred racing, but Standardbred and Quarter Horse Racing as well.

Proposed is the creation of a board of thirteen members, including the CEO of U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), six people representing USADA, and six from the horse racing industry. This board would then create and oversee anti-doping and medication rulings for horses, people and races through every state. They would be responsible for testing, enforcing the rules and developing sanctions against those who break the rules. It would operate under the United States Anti-Doping Agency, an agency that oversees anti-doping regulations in many sports.

This bill has the backing of many organizations. Supporting the bill is the HSUS, The Jockey Club, and the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity. These groups applaud the bill for bringing forth regulations that will protect horses and prevent horsemen from breaking the rules in one state and simply moving to another and another. Itís time that the regulations around doping in horse racing be brought up to modern standard and be standardized throughout the country.

Opposed to the bill is the Thoroughbred Horsemenís Association and Association of Racing Commissioners International and fifty other organizations. These groups dislike that part of the mandate is to ban Lasix on race day. This they feel, jeopardizes the well-being of racehorses, pointing out that although it is banned on race days in Europe, it is used during training. They are also concerned about horsemen being subject to the federal justice system rather than the right to due process in their own states.

The next step in the submission of this bill is for the subcommittee to report their findings from this hearing to the full Energy and Commerce committee.
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