Doha: Horses participating in the equestrian competitions in the forthcoming Asian Games here would have to pass through a drug test, said Damain Noseda, medication control manager (equine) at the Doha Racing and Equestrian club - the venue of the event.
"The welfare of the horses come first," said Noseda on Tuesday.
Blood and urine tests will be done on all the medallist horses and five percent of the horses in the competition will undergo the test at random.
TESTING HORSE POWER: Authorities say they have the technical ability to conduct the tests on 200 horses.
The jury preserves the right to test the horses according to their discretion. The equestrian competitions are to commence from December 4.
Noseda disclosed that they have the technical ability to conduct the tests on 200 horses. Interestingly like athletes, testing horses have to be under escort.
"Samples would be put in tamper-proof bags and flown to a laboratory in Hong Kong," he said while explaining the procedure to be employed for the tests.
The results will be reported to the world body of equestrian, which is the Federation Equestre International with its headquarters in Switzerland.
The result would be available after a week.
The method of collecting the samples is however unique. The horse would be at first put on straw or saw dust, have it relaxed and made to whistle. There is however no scientific explanation, but it actually works, remarked Noseda.
Meanwhile the 15th Asian Games organisers are taking every precaution to check the entry of banned drugs in the country.
It has put the Qatar customs authority and National Health Authority on round-the-clock duty and all athletes, officials and doctors arriving from various participating countries are being checked thoroughly.
The random checking of the athletes is also continuing at the Athletes Village since Nov 15.