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The Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) is a grassroots movement of like-minded individuals who support the passage federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of horse racing. The appointment of an independent anti-doping program run by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will solve the problem of widespread drug use in American racing and put U.S. racing jurisdictions in step with international standards.  Doping destroys public confidence in racing, defrauds the betting fan, weakens the genetic pool and, most importantly, puts the life and limb of our equine athletes and their jockeys at risk.  It is obvious that after years of committee review and discussion, America’s racing industry cannot police itself by eliminating the proliferation of performance enhancing drugs in our sport, nor does it possess the power to adequately punish the purveyors of these drugs.

In 2010, several thoroughbred owners and breeders went to Washington at the request of Congressman Ed Whitfield and Senator Tom Udall to discuss the use of performance enhancing drugs in American horse racing.  In 2012, WHOA was established as a grass roots movement able to speak with a unified voice calling for a ban on drugs in racing.  Since then many concerned members of our industry have joined in support of federal efforts as the only viable solution to the drug problem in our industry.  While a bill has not been passed, WHOA continues to support federal legislation that would appoint USADA as the anti-doping organization responsible for protecting the integrity of horse racing.  American racing has been unable to manage itself in the comprehensive, uniform, and independent manner necessary to have an effective anti-doping program.  Like cyling, track & field, swimming and a number of other Olympic sports, it simply cannot be done internally. 


  • WHOA supports federal legislation that appoints USADA, an independent, non-profit agency, with the authority to develop and enforce a gold-standard anti-doping program with central authority and oversight for U.S. racing, bringing transparency, uniformity and integrity back to our sport
  • Make no mistake. USADA is not a federal agency.  The proposed legislation does not create a government run federal racing office.  It does not involve federal regulation or intervention.  It does not require any federal funding.  It does move us closer to our goal of clean racing.

  • American horse racing needs uniform rules banning drugs on race day to ensure that every horse runs healthy and sound, on his natural ability.

  • No industry group has the power to mandate conformity in the 38 racing jurisdictions in the U.S.

  • WHOA’s mission promotes a “level playing field” from state-to-state and in sync with international standards.

  • USADA has cleaned up cycling, USADA has cleaned up The Olympics, and USADA can clean up horseracing.

Founded in 2012, WHOA is a group of like-minded Owners,
Breeders, Trainers, Jockeys, Equine Practitioners, Industry Professionals, Handicappers and Racing Fans who stand against the permissive use of race day drugs.

ESPN Audio
In The Gate #225 - Testing the Limits

Travis Tygart (USADA) & Ed Martin (Racing Commissioners International) each presents his side of the controversial movement to involve the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in racing.


 Congressman Paul Tonko reveals the intent behind the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015


Read TDN Magazine’s six-part series, “A Painful Truth,” which explores the medication reform movement in U.S. racing. (pdf format)

Can WHOA put the brakes on Race-Day Meds:
Blood-Horse 6/21/14 (pdf format)