Two members of Congress, one from the mid-Atlantic region, will introduce a bill next week to put the United States Anti-Doping Agency in charge of horse racing medication rules, The New York Times reports (here).

The bill, to be introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), would empower USADA to develop rules pertaining to allowed and prohibited substances and would create stronger penalties for violations.  It would replace the current, state-by-state system of regulation with one set of national standards and one national enforcement agency.

Funding for the new program would come from the racing industry itself, according to The Times, either through a percentage of wagering handle or through a series of fees.

Eight mid-Atlantic states have taken action in recent months, in concert with each other, to strengthen and harmonize their medication rules.  It’s not enough, Pitts told The Times.

“Before more people and animals are hurt, we need to put a responsible national authority in charge of cleaning up racing,” he said.  “This is a sensible, bipartisan measure to restore trust in racing and protect lives.”