Ontario Taking 'Biological Samples' to Target Abuses

The Ontario Racing Commission, as noted in a directive adopted in May, is requiring that all racehorses be made available to have a “biological sample” taken at any time without prior notice.

A biological sample could be blood, urine, hair, and other substances, the directive said. Official veterinarians or other authorities will take the samples.

“The purpose of the biological sample is to determine the existence of any substance or drug with no therapeutic value to the horse,” the racing commission directive said.

The racing commission, which has taken a hard line on use of prohibited substances in horse racing, said it is “committed to expanding the medication control program beyond existing pre-race, post-race testing, and retention requirements. The medication control program continues to focus on significant change of performance of all horses racing in the province of Ontario.”

The directive involves owners and trainers of record. The commission said failure of any owner and/or trainer or delegate to make horses available to have biological samples taken on demand could result in the following: scratching of horses, and the owner or trainer being refused the right to enter horses at Ontario racetracks.