WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Andy Barr and Congressman Paul Tonko released the following joint statement after the indictment of 27 individuals in a horse doping scandal.

“Today’s indictments underscore the pressing need for the development of uniform racing standards under one independent regulatory body. It is abundantly clear that the current system of 38 separate jurisdictions, leaves a void where, when exploited, manipulation and cheating can occur.

“Tragically, in some cases the health of our equine athletes has been sacrificed to gain competitive advantage through the administration of dangerous and sometimes illicit drugs. As a result, according to the Jockey Club’s Equine Injury Database, almost 10 horses die on the racetrack per week in the U.S.- nearly two and a half to five times greater than in Europe and Asia.

“The Horseracing Integrity Act would address the inconsistencies and confusion that the current system presents, by establishing an authority to create and implement a national uniform medication program with input from stakeholders throughout the equine industry.

“As we stated in our testimony recently before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, the future of this sport depends on fair competition and a level playing field across state lines, full disclosure of information to purchasers of breeding stock and to the wagering public, and the safety and welfare of horses and jockeys.

“We will continue to advocate for our legislation to bring safety and integrity to the sport and enhance its popularity and international competitiveness.”