The Irish Turf Club will expand its drug testing regime for 2015, with rigorous testing for
horses both in- and out-of-training.
As of January 1 next year, all horses in- or out-of-training, or
for whom a hunter certificate has been issued after that date, will be liable for testing at any
time. Discussions will continue with a view to extending the testing to include all horses as
early as possible after birth, with a commencement date of January 1, 2016, set for those discussions.
The Turf Club will work with various enforcement agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, with a
view to putting in place formal information sharing arrangements. The
organization will also work with the Department of Agriculture to designate Turf Club veterinary officers as
Authorized Officers to give them powers of search and seizure.
The Turf Club continues
to work with scientific experts to develop hair-testing methodologies, and will require all
licensees to disclose, on an annual basis as part of their license application, if they are
under investigation for any matter that may influence the granting of a license.
of the changes come weeks after it was revealed that Irish jumps trainers Philip Fenton and
Pat Hughes are being charged by the Irish Department of Agriculture for the possession of
The Irish Turf Club noted that it fully endorses the position announced by the
International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) last October that anabolic steroids have no
place in horse racing, and that they should not be permitted in- and out-of-competition.
“While the Turf Club already has an extensive and
successful drug testing regime in place, it is an area that is under constant review and where we would
never be complacent,” Turf Club Chief Executive Officer Dennis Egan said. “In 2013, the
Turf Club tested 3,207 samples out of which three were found to be positive. All winners on
the racecourse are tested for prohibited substances while Turf Club Veterinary Officers
also visit trainers’ yards and take samples from horses in training.
“The Turf Club will use every resource
at its disposal to ensure that Irish racing is kept as clean as possible and free from drugs,”
“Over the next two years we will significantly enhance the out-of-competition testing that
we carry out, with the result that we will be able to test a lot more horses that previously we
did not have access to.
“Recent developments have pointed for the need to extend the drug
testing regime particularly into the area where horses are out of training, and also to seek new
powers to enable the Turf Club veterinary officers inspect premises for illegal