The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will begin trials of anti-doping saliva and sweat testing as measures to be reviewed for British racing’s Anti-Doping Pilot Program.
The trials will begin this month, which could see the BHA reinstall oral fluid/saliva testing as part of its Anti-Doping Program. The saliva testing pilot was suspended in September 2022, as BHA awaited a comprehensive review on how testing was undertaken, leading to significant alterations.
A new pilot was launched, which uses a ‘Home Office approved testing kit’, which can take samples in less than 60 seconds and provide results in five minutes. This kit is used globally for various drug screenings.
Further changes will see the Anti-Doping Program trial a new ‘testing process’. In the case of a non-negative result, a second screening will be performed. A non-negative result on the second test will result in the rider being stood down that day, and a urine sample taken. The rider may continue riding pending a negative urine result.
The BHA underscores that the aim of the pilot is to keep racing safe, fair, and clean, and to protect the welfare of human participants, horses, and the integrity of races for participants and stakeholders.
The Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) will be involved in the anti-doping saliva and sweat testing trials, providing participating jockeys a platform for feedback and to suggest improvements.
Tim Naylor, BHA Director of Integrity and Regulatory Operations, said: “I am pleased to be able to confirm the start of a new oral fluid testing pilot and would like to thank jockeys for their engagement with the process that has allowed us to reach this point.
“Keeping racing safe, clean and fair is our number one priority, and this testing provides us with an opportunity to not only protect the welfare of our human participants, but also the horses taking part in races, as well as the integrity of those races for all participants and bettors.”