Horse racing has a lot of strict rules and regulations that must be followed to ensure a fair game is had for all. However, as time has gone on policies are reviewed and updated as more information on new substances becomes available. Keep reading to find out the latest on prohibited substances.
Protecting Riders From Results Caused By Contamination
If a horse tests positive for prohibited substances they are disqualified which has huge repercussions when it happens to those competing internationally., In the past, a rider has often been penalised further even if the positive test was accidental and beyond their control. However a new change has been brought into effect that can help to protect riders whose horses haven’t actually been intentionally doped, but instead have elevated levels due to an accidental, natural contamination in the feed. Making sure you buy high-quality horse food from a company that implements measures to reduce the risk of contamination is one way to reduce the risk from contamination.
The new policy will enable riders to prove that the positive test result was caused by contamination and not intentional doping by confirming the source of the substance. A decision can then be made to overrule the positive result as it’s not intentional and the rider can still remain the winner of the competition. In 2021, 9 cases were found to actually be the result of feed contamination, so the new policy can ensure that riders aren’t persecuted for something they couldn’t control.
There is already a code of practice in place administered by the British Equestrian Trade Association referred to as NOPS e (Naturally Occurring Prohibited Substance) that aims to help feed manufacturers reduce the risk of contamination in horse feed. Businesses can request that their feed is audited by the BETA NOPS code and if they pass, they can feature the logo on their branding. You can find plenty of brands that show their compliance with BETA NOPS, so it’s a good idea to check the feed you want to purchase follows this before you buy. It is not possible to guarantee that a feed is always free from NOPS due to the nature of how contamination occurs but if you opt for BETA NOPS approved feed, you are choosing a feed produced by a company who do everything that is practicable to reduce the risk.
The BETA NOPS code was set up in the wake of a number of contamination issues that occurred as a result of contamination of horse feed with poppies being grown legitimately for medical morphine production. This accidental contamination would show a positive result if a horse was tested, and the rider or trainer we could have been disqualified. But with the new policy in place, they’re able to take time to trace back the contamination and clear their name.