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Congress To Investigate US Racing

Tuesday, 27th May 2008

In the US, a congressional subcommittee "which has lifted the lid on steroid use in baseball in a high-profile investigation, is turning its attention to American racing, a beleaguered industry in the wake of the death of Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby," reported racingpost.co.uk. The US House subcommittee on Commerce, Trade & Consumer Protection committee "has contacted racing officials demanding information about racehorse breakdowns & drug use, claiming the industry has failed to tackle long-standing concerns over equine-welfare issues". Among subjects raised are "the increasing fragility of the thoroughbred, related medication issues & the possible creation of a national body to regulate racing". The Committee has "also requested the names of all trainers who have been sanctioned for breaking drugs rules over the last 5 years, plus the nature & severity of all injuries to horses over that period". The Committee (which has jurisdiction over sports & gambling) lists its concerns "in a strongly-worded letter to the Lexington-based Association Of Racing Commissioners International (which represents state racing commissions in 44 jurisdictions) requesting a response by June 2". The letter suggests "leading officials in the sport" have "failed to address long-standing concerns regarding equine welfare". The "endemic use of legalised medication in the US has been cited as one potential factor in a weakening of the thoroughbred breed".

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