Drug Testing of Horses in Pioneering Expansion to Training Ring in Germany

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WARENDORF, Germany, Jan. 1–Drug testing of high performance horses in training in Germany has been launched in a pioneering expansion of anti doping measures.

The program has been planned since the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is undertaken by the National Anti Doping Agency on behalf of the German Olympic Committee and the FN, the national equestrian federation. The 2008 Games were the second straight Olympics in which a German jumper team horse was disqualified for illegal drug use and threatened television coverage and sponsor support for horse shows in Germany.

Strict drug testing is a key and accepted aspect at international competitions throughout Europe.

The first horses in training that were tested under the new program were at Warendorf, the national training center.

“With the planning and implementation of competition testing in horses,” said NADA Chairman Dr. Andrea Gotzmann, “we are breaking new ground. We have teamed up with the FN and the DOKR (German Olympic Committee) and developed a comprehensive reference work that is unique in the world.”

FN Secretary-General Soenke Lauterbach said the federation had “hoped for an earlier start” to the program but extensive preparation was required that was “more important to us than the speed.”

NADA began gearing up for the extended anti doping program after the three organizations reached agreement in April, 2011.

The program is funded by the German Olympic Committee.

A so-called “standard for the implementation of medication control in horses in training” was drawn up by NADA based on the requirements of the national anti doping code and a performance audit of procedure for the national sports programs.

Veterinarians and inspectors were trained by NADA.

Riders and owners of horses at the German Masters in Stuttgart, Germany in November, were briefed on the new controls.