High-level accreditation for Japan’s only horse drug testing lab

Japan's Laboratory of Racing Chemistry is the sixth to be appointed as a Reference Laboratory for the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.
Photo by urasimaru

Japan’s Laboratory of Racing Chemistry has been appointed as an International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) Reference Laboratory.

It is the sixth IFHA Reference Laboratory. The labs are selected on characteristics including the scale of operations, resourcing, research activity and capability to detect the use of prohibited substances, especially the Major Doping Agents. These labs work in an environment in races that are significant to the IFHA rankings of horses, races and jockeys.

The Laboratory of Racing Chemistry (LRC) in Japan was assessed remotely in 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and granted provisional appointment as an IFHA Reference Laboratory in July 2021. An on-site assessment took place last month which resulted in a recommendation that LRC becomes the sixth appointed IFHA Reference Laboratory.

As part of the application process, samples including hair, urine and plasma which contain unknown substances were sent to the lab for proficiency testing.

Established in 1965, the LRC is an internationally accredited horse racing doping control laboratory primarily used to provide professional analytical testing services for the analysis of equine biological samples including urine, blood and hair from horse racing and international equestrian events. LRC is the only equine drug testing laboratory in Japan, and its main role is to uphold the integrity of horse racing in Japan to ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders.

It joins Racing Analytical Services Limited (Australia); Laboratoire Des Courses Hippiques (France); LGC Group, Sport & Specialised Analytical Services (Great Britain); the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory (Hong Kong); and the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, University of California, Davis (USA) as IFHA Reference Laboratories.

Each lab is reassessed every three to four years.

LRC President Dr Toru Anzai paid tribute to the “effective teamwork and professional expertise” of his staff in reaching accreditation, and said the LRC had received support from the Japan Racing Association (JRA).

“After becoming the sixth IFHA Reference Laboratory, the LRC will certainly contribute more to the racing industry and work even more closely with the IFHA and the other five IFHA Reference Laboratories in the future.”



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