Lawmakers announce bill to end cheating, doping in horse racing

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act would provide the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) with authority to “cleanup the sport” and enforce anti-doping standards in races. The USADA also enforces anti-doping rules for the Olympics.

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“Before more people and animals are hurt, we need to put a responsible national authority in charge of cleaning up racing,” Pitts said Wednesday. “This is a sensible, bipartisan measure to restore trust in racing and protect lives."

The lawmakers previewed the legislation — which has not officially been introduced — ahead of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby. 

“The doping of injured horses and forcing them to compete is deplorable and must be stopped. Despite repeated promises from the racing industry to end this practice, meaningful action and oversight has yet to come forth,” Whitfield said. “This legislation would bring much-needed reforms to an industry that supports thousands of jobs and is enjoyed by spectators nationwide."

The bill would allow the USADA to develop rules and regulations such as requiring stiff penalties for cheating, including "one and done" and "three strikes, you're out" lifetime bans for the worst cases. It would also end the practice of medicating a horse on race day.

The lawmakers are likely to introduce the legislation when Congress returns from recess next week.

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