Racing watchdog working towards drug testing agreement

POSTED ON  |  06-11-2019

Irish racing’s regulatory body is facing a race against time to have an agreement in place with the Department of Agriculture that may allow drug testing on unlicensed premises to begin by the start of 2020. The Industry Wide Policy on Prohibited Substances & Doping Control, which was unanimously approved by the board of Horse Racing Ireland in July of last year, pledged to introduce traceability of thoroughbreds throughout their lives.

A key element of that is provision of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that allows officials from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) be involved in random and intelligence-led testing. That would allow IHRB anti-doping personnel to play a role in testing throughout racing and on unlicensed premises such as stud farms. Such testing on stud farms was predicted to begin in the second half of this year once registrations of 2019’s foal crop were in place.

It also requires agreement on a protocol between the IHRB and the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association which had been expected to be completed earlier this year. Talks between both bodies on such a protocol are still ongoing, however, and an IHRB spokesman confirmed on Monday that an SLA with the department has not been finalised.

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