On May 25 Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) introduced the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017 (HR 2651).

The bill would create a new Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Authority and uniform racing medication rules. Barr and Tonko had previously introduced similar legislation that only applied to Thoroughbred racing. The new bill, while similar to the previous bill, has several key differences. Most notably the new bill would apply to Quarter Horse and Standardbred races, as well, and prohibits the use of any substance within 24 hours of a race.

The American Horse Council (AHC) is continuing to review the bill to determine its impact on the horse racing industry and taken has no position on this legislation.

In general the bill would:

  • Authorize the creation of the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Authority. The authority’s board would be composed of 13 members, including the chief operating officer of U.S Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), six individuals representing USADA, and six individuals appointed by USADA from various the sectors of the horse racing industry. The authority would operate nominally under the Federal Trade Commission.
  • The authority would be responsible for developing and administering an anti-doping and medication control program for covered horses, covered persons, and covered horse races. In general the authority shall exercise authority over all Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and Standardbred racing anti-doping and medication control matters.
  • The authority would be required to create a uniform set of anti-doping and medication control rules, including lists of permitted and prohibited substances.
  • The authority would also be required to promulgate uniform rules for imposing sanctions for rule violations.
  • The bill would also establish several standing technical committees to assist the authority.
  • The authority, the medication program, and enforcement activities would be funded by an assessment placed on state racing commissions based on the calculation of cost per racing starter to fund the program.
  • The bill prohibits the use of any substance or medication within 24 hours of a race.
  • The bill does not amend the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978

The full bill can be viewed online

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The AHC is continuing to analyze the details of the bill and will follow up with additional information.