Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement after joining as a cosponsor of the Horseracing Integrity Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) to end doping of American racehorses and create a uniform national standard for drug testing:
“I’m cosponsoring the Horseracing Integrity Act because it’s past time that we end the rampant doping that plagues horse racing and is contributing to racehorse fatalities. We can’t sit idly by while these magnificent creatures continue to die.
“Drugs, including the much-prescribed Lasix, allow trainers to mask illnesses and push horses beyond their physical limitations. The result is too often a catastrophic injury requiring the horse to be euthanized. There is no reason a healthy horse should need drugs to race. If a horse is sick enough to require medication, it’s too sick to race. Period.
“The tragic deaths of racehorses at Santa Anita and Del Mar only scratch the surface of the sport’s serious issues. Doping is a problem bigger than any track. It demands a national solution.
“Banning doping is one of the biggest steps we can take to clean up the problems with horse racing. It will save horses’ lives, and that’s something we should all support.”
Key provisions of the bill
- Establishes a uniform, national standard to prohibit doping and medication for racehorses. Currently, each state establishes its own, creating a patchwork of standards.
- Creates a new independent body to oversee the use of drugs and medication on racehorses. This body would be overseen by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and have the power to make rules, testing requirements and enforcement mechanisms.
- Immediately bans Lasix (furosemide) and other medications dangerous to racehorses. It also requires international anti-doping and medication control standards to be considered when developing a U.S. anti-doping program.
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