Horse Competitions and Dopping

Doping and Horse Competitons

Doping in horse competitions could be defined as the administration of any prohibited substance to riders and/or horses in competition, regardless of their route of administration (oral, injectable or topical), either by the rider, preparer or any other collaborating person, in order to alter, limit or modify the sporting performance of the person or horse. In a competitive sport, horses are subject to anti-doping controls both the rider, which is subject to the rules of the World Anti-Doping Code of the World Anti-Doping Agency (AMA) and the horse, which is governed by the rules of the EIF anti-doping and controlled medication, the EIF veterinary rules and the FEI list of prohibited substances. In relation to the FEI list of prohibited substances indicate that it is divided into two sections: prohibited substances, which should never be supplied to a competition horse, and use of controlled medication, which are substances commonly used in medicine but which are prohibited in competition as they may grant the animal an unfair advantage; and may only be administered before or during the sporting event with the authorization of the official veterinarian. Among the prohibited methods of doping are the increase in the transport, release or uptake of oxygen, either supplied by mask, or by pharmacological products that alter it, such as those containing hemoglobin or erythropoietin.

Blood transfusion, catheterization and replacement or modification of samples are also prohibited. The use of stimulants, depressives, narcotics, tranquilizers, local anesthetics or masking agents is also prohibited in such a way that they can influence the physical condition of the horse. In the competitions, it is the president of the field jury and the veterinary delegate who are in charge of the anti-doping controls with the collection of blood and urine samples, which will subsequently be analyzed in laboratories with international accreditation of the World Anti-Doping Agency approved by the State. Refusal to submit to the controls shall be equally penalized. If there are prohibited substances, the administrative authorities will be transferred to open the corresponding sanctioning file, which may result in the impossibility of participating in other competitions, fines, disqualification, loss of medals, and could even affect the final result of the team when competing in this modality.

The Royal Spanish Horse Federation regulates anti-doping control in Chapter IX of the Sports Disciplinary Regulation, referring to Organic Law 7/2006, of 21 November, Protection of Health and Combating Doping in Sport for the case of the doping of riders, and regulating in articles 59 and following the doping of horses. Such conduct is regarded as a very serious infringement and provides, inter alia, for fines of up to EUR 30,000. It is certainly necessary to continue to become aware, in fact, the Royal Decree-Law 3/2017 of February 17 amending Organic Law 7/2006, of November 21, Protection of Health and Combating Doping in Sport hardens certain aspects of the implementing regulations; it thus establishes two new infringements, complicity, and prohibited association; increases certain sanctions to 4 years (international doping, non-specific substance, intentionality); or raises the statute of limitations to 10 years. It is clear that the aim is to ensure equal competition for all participants.