LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 1, 2013) -- “The Jockey Club has consistently stated that the overuse of medication endangers our equine and human athletes, threatens the integrity of our sport and erodes consumer confidence in our game.
“We appreciate Congress’ continued interest in helping to safeguard the sport of horse racing, in particular with the recent news accounts of the proposed ‘Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.’ We have not yet seen the proposed bill, but upon its release we will review it and provide our comments to its authors. We note from the news accounts the inclusion in the proposed bill of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which has been widely praised for its anti-doping accomplishments in a variety of other sports.
“In the meantime, The Jockey Club is encouraged by the substantial progress being made in the area of medication reform, including the efforts of Mid-Atlantic regulators and the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association to more tightly control the use of therapeutic medications; the commitment by members of the industry, led by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, to develop new model rules with more stringent penalties for repeat violators; and the eight equine drug testing laboratories, representing 24 pari-mutuel racing jurisdictions, that are currently undergoing accreditation reviews. Uniform accreditation will ensure more stringent and uniform standards for forensic drug testing.
“We recognize that there are a variety of available avenues for effecting the needed changes, whether through state action, a federal compact, federal law or horse racing industry action, and we will continue to steadfastly support the enhancement of the safety of our athletes and the integrity of competition.”