The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities’ (IFHA) Executive Council has unanimously reaffirmed its commitment to a stringent anti-doping policy and has authorized the IFHA chairman to directly engage with relevant racing jurisdictions to emphasize the importance of the policy’s implementation.

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

The Executive Council specifically endorsed the Breeders’ Cup’s updated protocols put in place in advance of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Breeders’ Cup conducting out-of-competition testing of potential starters prior to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, to be held November 3-4 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, in California. These protocols are in alignment with the Article 6E restrictions on the use of anabolic steroids and other proscribed substances.

“I welcome the move by the Breeders’ Cup organizers 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.

The IFHA also noted that horses which have been disqualified for violating the principles of Article 6E will henceforth be excluded from the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings list.

Lastly, the IFHA Executive Council applauded the recent appointment of the five IFHA reference labs:

  • Racing Analytical Services Limited (Australia);
  • Laboratoire Des Courses Hippiques (France);
  • LGC Group, Sport & Specialised Analytical Services (Great Britain);
  • Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory (Hong Kong); and
  • University of California, Davis, Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (United States).

“The central purpose of the IFHA Reference Laboratory program 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,” Romanet said.

“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.”