Congress seeks racing information

A congressional subcommittee has sent notifications to five high-ranking horse racing officials seeking information about drug use, injuries, and breeding practices and will likely schedule a hearing in June for a public discussion of the topics, a spokesperson for the subcommittee's ranking member said Tuesday.

The letters asked the officials to respond by June 2, according to a representative of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. The letters were sent on May 22 to Bob Evans, the chief executive of Churchill Downs Inc.; Charles Hayward, the chief executive of the New York Racing Association; Ed Martin, the president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International; Ogden Mills Phipps, the chairman of The Jockey Club; and Frank Stronach, the chairman of Magna Entertainment Corp.

The ranking member of the subcommittee is Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Republican from Kentucky who had previously called hearings on riders' health and safety issues. Kristin Walker, a spokesperson for Whitfield, said the committee expects to ask the five officials to testify at a hearing in Washington D.C. in June.

The same subcommittee earlier this year conducted a hearing into drug abuse in professional sports. During that hearing, Alex Waldrop, the chief executive of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, testified regarding the use of anabolic steroids in racing.