Feds fund upgrades at horse anti-doping lab

The federal lab in charge of testing samples from racehorses for illegal drugs will get an $890,000 retrofit to allow for “more modern” testing of samples.

The federal government announced Friday it will put up the funds from its $250 million, two-year Modernizing Federal Laboratories Initiative for the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency’s (CPMA) Reference and Research Laboratory in the Nepean area of Ottawa.

The retrofit will allow the CPMA to adopt more modern testing for samples from race horses for illegal drugs or prohibited substances, the government said.

This in turn will support federal and provincial regulatory activities in the horse racing industry by “increasing expertise in the detection of newer and previously undetected drugs,” the government said.

That, in turn, will support the industry by “maintaining public confidence in the fairness of betting on horse racing in Canada,” the government said Friday.

CPMA is a special operating agency within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to regulate and supervise pari-mutuel betting on horse racing at racetracks across the country.

A levy of 0.8 per cent on each bet placed in Canada funds the CPMA’s work, which includes its Equine Drug Control Program.

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