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Statement from CHRI regarding Horseplayers Association of North America Poll

September 4, 2015 – The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity has released the following statement in response to the publication of a poll by the Horseplayers Association of North America reflecting overwhelming support among bettors for reforming drug use and enforcement in horse racing:

“Horseplayers and bettors are the lifeblood of the Thoroughbred racing industry. The leadership of HANA clearly understands that we must ensure their voice is represented, and we praise the recent announcement of a poll of its members which concluded that more than four in five horseplayers (83%) support national uniform drug and medication standards overseen by experts at USADA, an independent, nongovernmental non-profit organization.

These results mirror similar polling conducted among bettors in recent years by the NTRA, McKinsey & Company and Penn Schoen Berland. Most recently, a 2015 Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity survey found that:

  • 77% of horseracing bettors consider the possibility of illegal drug use when handicapping.
  • Among those who form an opinion about whether trainers are using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), three in five (60%) say they typically bet less on the race, compared with less than one in twenty (4%) who say they bet more.
  • 92% of horseracing bettors said they want to see uniform medication policies happen faster than they are happening now, and
  • 72% support a proposal to grant oversight of drug and medication testing and enforcement to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

The support of individual horseplayers for a national framework, as well as the recently announced support of the Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, epitomizes the wide variety of industry interests who are committed to the medication reform and uniformity that is needed to ensure integrity in our sport.”

The Coalition – whose membership also includes the Breeders’ Cup Ltd., the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Veterinary Medicine Association, The Jockey Club, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders, Meadowlands Racetrack, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and the Water Hay Oats Alliance – supports the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015. This bill, introduced in July 2015 to the House of Representatives by Congressmen Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), will direct the non-governmental, non-profit U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to create an independent, racing-specific, non-governmental and non-profit organization to work collaboratively with state racing commissions and their respective staff members throughout the country.

Additional information, including full 2015 polling results, stories from supporters and ways to contact Congressional members to express support for this legislation, is available at www.horseracingintegrity.com.

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