|Monday, March 09, 2020
|Contact: Shannon Luce 8592242716
|Sent on behalf of CHRI: CHRI Calls for Immediate Passage of Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019
In reaction to explosive indictments announced this morning by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI) called on the House and the Senate to immediately pass the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019.
Earlier this morning, federal prosecutors announced four indictments related to a wide-ranging doping scheme that put the health and well-being of horses at risk, with the ultimate goal of evading testing authorities and profiting from racehorses’ improved performance. The indictments charge more than two dozen individuals in the scheme, including leading trainers and veterinarians.
“We applaud federal law enforcement for vigorously pursuing these cheaters — trainers and veterinarians alike — whose dangerous practices imperil the health and safety of our equine athletes and threaten the viability of our great sport. By uncovering this ‘widespread, corrupt scheme,’ the FBI and the Justice Department has exposed to the world what we have been saying has plagued our industry for too long — an accepted culture of doping in racing, and the complete inability of the current anti-doping system to stop it,” said Shawn Smeallie, executive director of CHRI. “We need to pass national legislation now to replace our ineffective patchwork system with a much more uniform and independent anti-doping program. Our opponents have simply run out of arguments.”
The Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R.1754/S.1820), introduced by Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY) in the House and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Martha McSally (R-AZ) in the Senate, would create a private, independent horse racing anti-doping authority, the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority (HADA), responsible for developing and administering a nationwide anti-doping and medication control program for horse racing. HADA would be governed by a board composed of six individuals who have demonstrated expertise in a variety of horse-racing areas, six individuals from the United States Anti-Doping Agency, and its chief executive officer. USADA is recognized by Congress as the official anti-doping agency for the U.S. Olympic, Pan American, and Paralympic sports, and its independence from sport is critical for ensuring adequate oversight over doping in horse racing.
The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity represents a diverse group of racing organizations, racetracks, owner and breeder associations, and animal welfare groups that support adoption of a national, uniform standard for drug and medication rules in horse racing. For more information and to read a copy of the legislation, visit horseracingintegrity.com.