Statement on Doping Scandal Involving Justify and the Triple Crown

WASHINGTON (September 12, 2019) – The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund have called for immediate passage of the Horseracing Integrity Act, and for an investigation by an independent authority regarding claims alleging that 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify failed a drug test after winning a 2018 Santa Anita race, which occurred one month before the Kentucky Derby. The results of Justify’s failed drug test were not revealed nor addressed in conjunction with the California Horse Racing Board’s rules in place for a medication violation at that time, which could have eliminated his participation in the Triple Crown races.

Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, released this statement: “The horseracing industry cannot continue to both promote and police its own sport. Passage of the Horseracing Integrity Act H.R.1754/S.1820 is even more urgent in light of the report involving Justify’s failed drug test prior to the Triple Crown races and his subsequent victories.  Reform of medication policies in horseracing and proper oversight of doping violations by independent authorities are urgently needed. We call for an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Justify’s drug test.”

Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, offered the following statement: “Whether it’s doping in Major League Baseball, the Tour de France or horse racing, there’s no room for argument. Horseracing is at a crossroads. Swift Congressional action on the Horseracing Integrity Act is needed to end doping and provide for the welfare of these amazing equine athletes. They’re innocent, they don’t choose to dope and they deserve the protection that a federal law would afford.”