The coalition supports drug and medication reforms that will level the playing field for everyone invested in horse racing – our horses, jockeys, trainers, owners, and especially the fans that wager their hard earned money.
The coalition will make sure that the health and well-being of racehorses is the industry’s priority. Creating a system of uniform drug testing will ensure that we put the welfare of our horses first.
With 50% of horses racing in more than one state, today’s outdated patchwork of medication regulations makes horse racing complicated for trainers, owners, and veterinarians. Legislation supported by the coalition will modernize the current system, create uniform standards across state lines, and provide much-needed certainty for the sport.
We are the only major racing jurisdiction in the world without uniform drug and medication rules. The U.S. desperately needs to catch up with the high standards and practices of the rest of the horse racing world.
Other sports have faced similar challenges – and with remarkable consistency, have found a solution – integrating a truly independent, third-party organization to oversee their drug testing programs. These sports leagues and organizations realized that no matter how well-intentioned, they cannot solve the issue of drug testing and enforcement on their own and be seen as credible by the sport’s participants and fans.
The coalition supports a private, non-profit, self-regulatory organization to be known as the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority. The authority would be governed by a board composed of the chief executive officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), six individuals from the USADA board, and six individuals selected by USADA who have demonstrated expertise in a variety of horse-racing areas. The Federal Trade Commission would have limited oversight of the authority. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was chosen as horse racing’s designated rulemaking and enforcement agency because of its proven track record of protecting the integrity of competition from athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs, such as the Olympics and Tour de France. Only a national, independent and science-based group like USADA has the experience, credibility, and national reach to address this issue.
The coalition is the first group to present not only a consensus among the diverse members of the horse racing community, but active participation as well. The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity promotes pragmatic solutions to achieving a common goal – the creation of uniform drug and medicine regulations for our sport.
The legislation endorsed by the coalition does not create a new governmental agency and specifically prohibits the use of taxpayer funds to set up the new drug testing program. The new regulatory body would be funded entirely by the industry, not by the federal government or fans.
The reforms supported by the coalition would present a smooth transition for the industry. The authority will establish permitted and prohibited lists of medications, naturally and synthetically occurring substances, and treatment methods.
This legislation is critical to rebuilding the reputation of horse racing among casual fans and horse lovers, and attracting new owners, sponsors, and fans.