Today, there is no national independent and science-based organization in horse racing dedicated to protecting athlete safety and racing integrity and to ensuring a level playing field for competition. The Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019, sponsored by Reps. Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), addresses this pressing need.
The bill, designated as H.R. 1754, would create a private, independent horse racing anti-doping authority, the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority (HADA), responsible for developing and administering a nationwide anti-doping and medication control program for horse racing. HADA would be governed by a board composed of six individuals who have demonstrated expertise in a variety of horse-racing areas, six individuals from the United States Anti-Doping Agency, and its chief executive officer. USADA is recognized by Congress as the official anti-doping agency for the U.S. Olympic, Pan American, and Paralympic sports.
The new set of rules, testing procedures, and penalties would replace the current patchwork of regulatory systems that govern horse racing’s 38 jurisdictions. Passage of this bill will result in a substantial increase in out-of-competition testing, which will help ensure horses are free from performance-enhancing drugs during racing and training.
The authority will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with state racing commissions and their respective staff members throughout the country, and the authority will be funded entirely by the industry.