Barr reintroduces Horseracing Integrity Act

05/25/2017 01:20 PM

Kentucky U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, and U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-New York, co-chairs of the Congressional Horse Caucus are introducing legislation to bring uniformity to medications within horse racing.

The bill, filed on Thursday, is a revamped version of legislation brought in 2015. The legislation establishes an authority to create and implement a national uniform medication program with input from the horse industry.

Barr said the legislation is needed because of the numerous different conflicting rules governing medication practices across the different racing jurisdictions.

“We want all of those jurisdictions to have the same rules so the betting public has confidence that they know what the product is when they’re evaluating these races,” Barr said in a phone call with reporters.

A previous version of the bill filed in 2015 ran across some constitutionality issues. In an effort to address that this version of the legislation does have several key differences, Barr said.

The legislation preserves the Anti-Doping Agency as an independent non-governmental entity, Barr said. Key differences in the bills include putting the NGO under the oversight of the Federal Trade Commission.

“We think that is an appropriate place to have that federal oversight over that non-governmental organization,” he said.

The bill also requires the medication program to prohibit race-day medication 24 hours before the race. The legislation also applies to Quarter Horse and Standardbred racing.

“An element of the anti-doping program that this legislation puts into place strengthens the out of competition testing,” Barr said.

The previous version of the legislation included 90 House co-sponsors; Barr said he would reach out to those sponsors again in an effort to build support for this bill.

The legislation was introduced in the House Energy and Commerce Committee where it could end up for a hearing. Barr said he and Tonka have been reaching out to committee members as well as House leadership about the legislation.


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