One of the major priorities of the FEI is to ensure doping-free horsesport and protect the health and welfare of its animal and human athletes. Strict anti-doping tests will be conducted during the two weeks of the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games and we would like to provide you with the details on the testing procedure that will take place in Aachen.
Two FEI Medication Control Programme (MCP) testing veterinarians will be officiating. Some 60 horses will be tested, including all the medal winners as well as some others selected by the ground jury and the testing veterinarians. Criteria for selection such as geographic representation, placing, whether or not the horse has been in the holding box during the horse inspection and its fitness are taken into consideration.
As soon as the horses selected for testing leave the competition arena, they are taken to the sampling stables. Urine and blood samples are collected from every horse under supervision from the testing officials. The collected samples are split into A and B portions; the rider or groom sign a form to certify that they witnessed the procedure.
The A portion of the blood and urine samples is packed in one security bag; the B portion is packed in two security bags: one containing the urine and the other the blood sample. The reason for this is the fact that the B portion needs to be stored in case a confirmatory analysis is required. Urine is frozen while blood, which should not be frozen, is only cooled.
Thus prepared, the packages are sent to the central FEI laboratory, Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques, located in Châtenay-Malabry near Paris, France. The samples are sent by DHL every other day.
Once the samples reach the laboratory, portion B is stored in the manner described above and portion A is used for testing. It is analysed for every possible prohibited substance. This process takes anywhere between seven and 14 days. If a prohibited substance is detected, the case is reported to the FEI Veterinary Department which, in cooperation with the FEI Legal Department, examine the specifics to decide on further action.