Horse Racing & Illegal Drugs

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Horse Racing & Illegal Drugs

In Roman times, incidents of horse doping in chariot racing were punished by crucifixion.

In England in 1912, tests using horse saliva looked for Alkaloids such as Thermobromide, Caffeine, Morphine, or Strychnine – traces of any resulted in automatic disqualification.

But, with the introduction of pari-mutuel in the US in 1933, the practice of doping horses became endemic – and out of control.

In the latter half of the 20th century, anti-doping efforts increased – led by the FBI. A crackdown on horse doping in 2020 resulted in 29 individuals being prosecuted and jailed. This action motivated congress to pass the first law establishing national regulations for the sport of horse racing.

The Horseracing Safety, and Integrity Act (HISA) created a new enforcement agency. This law takes effect July 1, 2022.

Every type of Horseracing with Pari-mutuel betting has doping incidents.

At the end of every race, the standard practice is for the vet to immediately take blood and urine samples from (at least) the winning horse.

Today, government-sanctioned labs employ the most sophisticated mass spectrometers to test for the presence of literally thousands of illegal compounds.

To guarantee that those samples go directly to the labs without adulteration or tempering, SignaKey customized its digital chain-of-custody solution.

This process captures the vet’s geospatial coordinates and timestamp – exactly when taking the samples. These are then securely transferred to the lab, where the capture process is repeated before the samples are analyzed the samples. Tracking and securing this transfer utilizes a SignaKey imprinted tamper-evident package.



Chain of Custody