Joe Gorajec, previously the executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission for 25 years, has announced that he has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance. WHOA is a grassroots movement of like-minded individuals who support the passage of federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of horse racing. Gorajec released the following statement:
“I am proud to count myself among the supporters of the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA). I applaud its principle stance on drugs in racing and its effort to create a path toward national uniformity by embracing the Barr/Tonko legislation.
“Having been a regulator in Indiana for 25 years has given me an insider's view of racing's regulatory apparatus. This has convinced me that national uniform drug regulations are simply unachievable under our current fragmented regulatory structure. More important than mere uniformity, in my view, is having the highest of standards which would then translate to a racing product that has the greatest level of integrity.
“Along those lines, I believe that the results of recent Daily Racing Form survey of fans are quite telling.
“When asked – 'Do you believe that states are currently effective in catching trainers or veterinarians who are using illicit drugs?' – 78% responded 'no' while only 16% responded 'yes'.
“By a similar margin – 64% to 22% – respondents favor the passage of the proposed Barr/Tonko bill.
“As we look to the future, it's time we start protecting the sport we love – and not just our turf.”
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