New independent testing lab for drug testing US sport horses

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A new equine regulatory testing laboratory is to be established in the US in a joint venture by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the University of Kentucky.

USEF President Murray Kessler said the new lab would provide members with state-of-the-art equine testing and research, and independence between the laboratory and the USEF regulatory process.

The two entities have entered into a Letter of Intent to develop the lab in Lexington, Kentucky. It follows the creation of a task force by USEF Board of Directors in January, to analyze USEF’s laboratory functions and future options for its sample testing program.

The lab will expand upon UK’s expertise in equine pharmacology and toxicology, and will be led by Scott Stanley, who joins the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment in January.

“We are excited about our partnership with USEF,” said Nancy Cox, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

“Dr. Stanley has an international reputation for sound application of the best technologies to pharmacology in the horse. Under his leadership, the lab will enhance our ability to provide state-of-the-art, dedicated service to the health and welfare of the horse.”

International Federation of Horseracing Authorities Chairman Louis Romanet addresses this week's IFHA conference.
International Federation of Horseracing Authorities Chairman Louis Romanet.

Strict doping measures urged for racing

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) is urging all racing authorities to adopt stringent doping control measures in line with the principles outlined in Article 6 of its IABRW agreement, which states that racehorses are prohibited from racing with any prohibited substance in their bodies.

“The Federation’s commitment to a stringent anti-doping policy has been a core principle since the IFHA’s inception,” said IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet.

“Doping undermines everything that we want to achieve relating to fair competition, the welfare of racehorses, the safety of jockeys and the development of strong bloodlines in the Thoroughbred breed. Racing regulators and organizers are obliged to take every measure possible to protect and safeguard the sport against the use and abuse of prohibited substances and doping practices, in both racing and training.

“Only when racing authorities commit to robust doping control policies that include out-of-competition testing can stakeholders be truly confident in the integrity of our sport.”

Romanet also announced the creation of a steering committee to study the future governance of the IFHA.

The group will be led by IFHA Vice-Chairman Brian Kavanagh, and composed of participants from the four regional areas representing the Asian Racing Federation, European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation, North America, and OSAF (South America).

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