Horse Racing in the United States: A Call for a Harmonized Approach to Anti-Doping Regulation


  • John T. Wendt University of St. Thomas



The use of performance-enhancing drugs may be the biggest problem facing horse racing in the United States. A 2012 investigation reported that 3,800 horses had tested positive for drugs, the majority for illegal levels of prescription drugs. Additionally, the investigation indicated that approximately 24 horses a week die at America’s tracks. The pervasive use of injury-masking and performance-enhancing drugs in United States horse racing has created a crisis in the industry and is destroying the reputation of a once vibrant sport. Because there are 38 separate state racing commissions with different sets of rules and practices, the United States is struggling to reach some sort of harmonization or uniformity. However, recent events have triggered renewed calls for regulation of performance-enhancing drugs. This article addresses what is presently being done to combat the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the "Sport of Kings."






Original Research