Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Equine Anti-Doping

Policy on Anti-Doping vs Medication Control

Policy on Anti-Doping vs Medication Control

The viability of the Irish Thoroughbred industry is dependent on the confidence of the public and those who participate within it. The I.H.R.B is responsible for ensuring the integrity of horseracing in Ireland and in particular its anti-doping programme.  At a time when action on anti-doping in all sports is ‘loaded with urgency’ according to Nicole Sapstead, CEO UK Anti-Doping and Olivier Niggli, DG World Anti-Doping Agency in March 2017, the I.H.R.B’s contribution to clean sport has perhaps never been as important.  It’s no longer about ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ domestic post-race samples.  It’s about a race day testing strategy, increased out of competition testing, testing at sale and stud, intelligence-led testing, investigations, international collaborations, education and prevention.  The I.H.R.B’s full Anti-Doping and Medication Control Policy is being developed following publication of the Anti-Doping Task Force Report in 2016 but the following principles run through it;

  • Inappropriate use of drugs in racehorses is a threat to the integrity and reputation of horseracing and the welfare of horse and jockey and is not tolerated.
  • The judicious use of therapeutic medications must be supported in the interests of racehorse welfare.
  • In line with most international racing jurisdictions, horses racing under the I.H.R.B's Rules of Racing must do so free from the effects of any prohibited substance.
  • Ireland is full signatory to Article 6 of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities’ Agreement on Racing, Breeding and Wagering which sets out internationally agreed standards for anti-doping and medication control.
  • It is recognised that some positive samples result from inadvertent mistakes in medication control and cross-contamination.  Regulation of anti-doping and medication control must incorporate essential education and prevention.
  • There was an increase in the absolute numbers of samples taken in 2017; in 2018 and beyond there will be development of how these increased samples are selected and acted upon in order to deliver as effective an anti-doping programme as possible with the resources available.
Anti-Doping Programme - How does Testing Work?
Anti-Doping & Medication Control Rules – A Trainer/Handler’s Guide
Anti-Doping & Medication Control Rules – A Vet’s Guide
Elective Testing – What is it & how does it work?
Responsible Use of Equine Medicines


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