The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA)’s Executive Council has unanimously reaffirmed its commitment to a stringent anti-doping policy and has authorised the IFHA Chairman to directly engage with relevant racing jurisdictions to emphasise the importance of implementation of this policy, they announced Thursday.
“The Federation’s commitment to a stringent anti-doping policy has been a core principle since the IFHA’s inception,” said Louis Romanet, Chairman of the IFHA. “It is in our DNA. Doping undermines everything that we want to achieve relating to fair competition, integrity, the welfare of racehorses, the safety of jockeys and the development of strong bloodlines in the Thoroughbred breed.”
“In Article 6E of the IFHA International Agreement, we have articulated the substances which should not be administered to a racehorse at any time in its career and the out-of-competition testing requirements necessary to ensure fair competition, transparency welfare, safety and sound breeding,” he continued. “Looking around the world, great progress has been made in implementing these requirements. And yet there are some countries in which more needs to be done. I look forward to reaching out and discussing this matter with the applicable racing authorities to reinforce the importance of implementation of these elements of the International Agreement.”
Breeders’ Cup Ltd.’s new protocols–in advance of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar on Nov. 3-4–are in alignment with the Article 6E restrictions on the use of anabolic steroids and other proscribed substances and the IFHA was pleased with the new protocols. The organization is also conducting out-of-competition testing on potential starters in advance of the Breeders’ Cup.
“I welcome the move by the Breeders’ Cup organisers to introduce protocols which conform to the Article 6E restrictions on the use of anabolic steroids and to conduct out-of-competition testing, and I will be encouraging the racing commissions in North America to follow this lead,” said Romanet.
Horses that have been disqualified for violating Article 6E will also be excluded from the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Racings. Romanet also applauded the recent appointment of the five IFHA reference labs.
“The central purpose of the IFHA Reference Laboratory programme is to foster an environment in which all races that are significant to the IFHA rankings of horses, races and jockeys are supported by analytical laboratories which the IFHA has reviewed and have been assessed by it to have certain characteristics considered important by the IFHA. There are a number of other existing laboratories in other jurisdictions that we know already have these characteristics and we will now work with them through the appointment process. It remains my objective to see all of the world’s most important and highest- rated races to be tested under the control of these approved reference laboratories, with Group 1 and Grade 1 races being the priority.”