Turf club to increase amount of testing after funding boost
The Turf Club will be stepping up its anti-doping procedures in 2017 as a result of increased funding received in Horse Racing Ireland's budget, details of which were announced last week.
A total of €9.6 million was allocated to Integrity Services by HRI and speaking yesterday Turf Club chief executive Denis Egan said: "We were pleased with the increased allocation announced in the HRI budget. It's the first time for a few years that we got what we wanted to enhance our services and we'll be making the anti-doping issue our main priority for next year."
A 25 per cent increase in testing is planned with blood and urine tests to be carried out in the second half of the year when new laboratory equipment for the forensic unit will be in place.
Egan said: "One of the areas we will be developing is pre-race testing. This will be done to make sure there is no milkshaking.
"To do that we will have a mobile testing unit available to help us and new equipment has been purchased with a view to introducing cobalt testing at some stage during the year. In the second half of the year we will be taking blood samples, in addition to urine samples, from horses.
"We hope to improve out of competition testing and are making progress with the breeders association on that front. We met with them last week to discuss the possibility of being able to carry out tests on their premises. We're hoping to find a solution which will be acceptable to everyone."
Ass matters stand only Department of Agriculture officials can gain access to stud farms with the Turf Club hanving no jurisdiction.