The Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017 (H.R. 2651) was introduced by Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY). The bill would create a new Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Authority and uniform racing medication rules. Representatives Barr and Tonko had previously introduced a racing medication bill that only applied to Thoroughbred horseracing. The recently introduced 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, not only Thoroughbred races, and it prohibits the use of any substance within 24 hours of a race.
The 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, or Authority. The board of the Authority will be composed of thirteen 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 horseracing industry. The Authority would operate nominally under the Federal Trade Commission.
- The Authority will have responsibility for developing and administering an anti-doping and medication control program for covered horses, covered persons and covered horseraces. In general the Authority shall exercise authority over all anti-doping and medication control matters.
- The Authority will be required to create a uniform set of anti-doping and medication control rules, including lists of permitted and prohibited substances.
- The Authority will also be required to promulgate uniform rules for imposing sanctions for rule violations.
- The bill will also establish several standing technical committees to assist the Authority.
- The Authority, the medication program, and enforcement activities will 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 within 24 hours of a race.
- The bill does not amend the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978
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.