IFHA Reference Laboratory Program Progressing, Aims To Inspire Labs To Step Up

POSTED ON  |  07-10-2017

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities' reference laboratory accreditation program continues work towards its mission to raise lab standards across the world, according to a presentation at the organization's annual conference Monday. Louis Romanet, chairman of the IFHA, reported five labs have met the organization's standards, including University of California-Davis in the U.S. and LGC Group in Great Britain, which operates in the states via HFL Sport Science in Lexington, Ky. The approved labs, called “reference labs,” adhere to a set of quality guidelines, conduct research, and pass rigorous on-site inspections in addition to proficiency testing.

The guidelines for IFHA's reference lab accreditation are closely based on the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium's accreditation guidelines. Part of the purpose of the reference lab program is harmonization in operations, in addition to operation quality. ISO (International Standards of Operations) accreditations vouch for the quality of a lab's operations, but do not require harmonization between facilities.

“I think there is a misunderstanding from a lot of the laboratory community and racing authorities about the difference between ISO accreditation and reference labs,” said Romanet. That harmonization is rapidly becoming a bigger problem, as Romanet noted lab testing technologies have become 1,000 times more sensitive in the past 10 years.

© 2015 IGSRV All rights reserved.