On September 29, the House of Representatives passed the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HR 1754) by voice vote. Led by Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY), the bill would crack down on widespread doping within the horseracing industry. It would prohibit race-day medications and create an independent anti-doping authority to set uniform national standards, testing procedures, and penalties for thoroughbred racing—replacing the inconsistent and often lax regulatory schemes that currently exist among 38 jurisdictions. The nonprofit US Anti-Doping Agency—widely recognized as the nation’s premier anti-doping organization—would handle enforcement, laboratory testing, and violations.
Hundreds of horses break down during races each year in the United States. An overreliance on performance-enhancing drugs contributes to this staggering death toll—one that far exceeds that of other racing jurisdictions around the world, where race-day medications are already prohibited.
At the time of printing, it was unclear whether the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act will be voted on in the Senate during the lame duck session. However, we remain hopeful, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is the bill’s lead sponsor.