Element of surprise to target prohibited substances

2 September 2022

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) is putting the racing industry on notice as it implements new prohibited substance controls.

Racing Integrity Commissioner Shane Gillard said the Commission was committed to the development of improved detection methods for substances that may be used for doping purposes.

“We are aiming to identify areas where the use of prohibited substances is a risk to the racing industry and we want to do things differently and lead the nation when it comes to anti-doping capabilities,” he said.

“As an emerging organisation in 2016, the Commission’s strategy was to test all winners for prohibited substances. As our capabilities and strategic direction have evolved, a new and less predictable strategy that has been in development for several months, will have greater focus on the element of surprise.

“While it was not exclusive, the strategy of testing all winners lacked an element of surprise and racing participants were fully aware that if their animal finished first, they would be tested.

“This new strategy will be less predictable for those looking to play the system, and intelligence will play a large part in who and why participants are tested. The Commission’s information evaluating capability will be continually enhanced through our ongoing research efforts to support this important activity.

“We believe that avoiding a predictable pattern that benefits those looking to abuse prohibited substances will be more effective and the industry should be aware that the ratio of samples taken pre-race, post-race, and out-of-competition may also be adjusted without notice.

“We gained support for the strategy when Industry representatives met us for the  first Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) on Monday 29 August.”

Mr Gillard said a mix of in and out of-competition sampling will generate maximum impact for the Commission’s prohibited substance control program.

“An analytical services plan, that will be more detailed than ever before, will determine the optimal number of samples to be collected in any given year.

“Urine, blood, saliva and hair will all be collected in a carefully targeted mix to ensure that the sample type that undergoes testing is the one best suited to detection of those doping substances that are considered to pose the greatest risk to racing integrity.

“It is this risk that remains at the forefront for the Commission as we aim to ensure that racing is clean and those loopholes that some participants sneak through are understood, investigated and stamped out.

“The integrity of the racing industry comes second only to animal care and the improper use of prohibited substances for the purpose of cheating is not acceptable.
It is our animals that suffer when they are subjected to abuse by the unlawful use of prohibited substances, and that behaviour must be stopped.

“Racing participants have a responsibility to sustain the future of our industry and strengthened detection methods will hold them to account and assure the public that maintaining the highest standards in both racing animal care and welfare are paramount.”


Media contact Vincene Overs
E  vincene.overs@qric.qld.gov.au
P  0472 842 346