BHA Moving Toward Paperless System With Testing App

Following rolling implementation during recent months, all post-race drug tests at Royal Ascot will be recorded using a new mobile app, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced June 15.

As well as minimizing the risk of errors and creating a more secure, efficient, and eco-friendly process, the technology is designed to allow the BHA to collect and transmit testing data to test management databases more easily.

It is also designed to allow a more data-driven, strategic approach to the deployment of the BHA’s anti-doping resources in the mid- and longer-term.

The project, which has been over two years in development, involves a device consisting of a microchip scanner and barcode reader attached to a smartphone.

Following positive feedback from trainers’ representatives and the BHA’s own sample collection team during the rolling implementation, the app will be in use at the Royal Ascot meet and all subsequent racing fixtures.

Today’s announcement marks progress towards all forms of testing on racehorses in Britain being carried out using the app as part of a more dynamic, modernized anti-doping strategy. Out-of-competition tests will also be handled via the app in due course.

Further moves towards digital technology are planned for the near future in other areas of race-day operations including for Clerks of the Course and a system to log the arrival of stable staff accompanying horses to the racecourse, which is already in use for the horses themselves.

“We are committed to keeping British Racing fair and clean and this modernization of our testing technology is another step forwards on this front,” said Brant Dunshea, BHA director of integrity and regulatory operations. “The new processes associated with this technology will be quicker and more secure, as well as enabling us to be smarter, dynamic and take a more strategic view of our constantly evolving anti-doping program.”

Testing—including pre-race, out-of-competition and international import testing—increased in 2016 by 2.4% compared to 2015 levels. The BHA is planning further, significant increases across all testing platforms for 2017.

Equine Drug Testing 2015 2016
Number of races 10,041 10,035
Number of runners 88,078 89,616
Analyzed pre-race (positives) 195 (0) 235 (1)
Analyzed post-race (positives) 8,475 (14) 8,455 (20)
Percentage of adverse analytical findings (post-race) 0.17% 0.24%
Out-of-competition testing (includes yard visits, international runners, imports, and auctions)* 1,490 1,846
Total 10,160 10,536

*There were no adverse analytical findings relating to out-of-competition testing in 2015 or 2016.

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