Medication Control / Swabbing

What is Medication Control/Swabbing?

Swabbing is the testing of a horses urine and blood samples to ensure that all horses are competing under the national EA and FEI competition rules without being influence by prohibited substances. Anti-Doping programs seek to preserve what is intrinsically valuable about sport. This intrinsic value is often referred to as "the spirit of sport"; it is the essence of Olympism; it is how we play true. The spirit of sport is the celebration of the human spirit, body and mind. Doping is fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport. In 2005 EA launched a National approach to Medication Control of Horses competing at EA and FEI events.

Will my horse get swabbed?

All Horses registered with the FEI or a National Federation, or otherwise competing at an International Event or National Event, shall be subject to In-Competition Testing by the FEI and EA, or by any other Anti-Doping Organisation responsible for Testing at a Competition or Event in which they participate.

Medication Control Sampling is Compulsory at:

  • All FEI events
  • All National Championships or equivalent
  • All State Championships or equivalent
  • Upon any horse that dies/has to be euthanized at an EA National Championship Competition
  • For all classes with prize money totalling more than $2,000 or with a first prize of $1,000 or more

And recommended & permitted at:

  • At all selection or qualifying event for Championships or Finals
  • At least one a year at official events that are run regularly and more than 6 times a year
  • At any EA event or competition that holds a “graded” competition
  • At any EA affiliated club/body that holds a “graded” competition
  • At any EA official Measuring day
  • Or at any other EA/FEI sanctioned/affiliated/sponsored event.

If you compete at any of these events there is a chance your horse could be swabbed. Horses may be sampled at any time during competition and may be sampled more than once.

Where do I go once I have been notified of the swabbing?

Once you have been notified a Horse Swab Steward (HSS) will stay with your horse at all times until the completion of the swabbing.

The HSS will take you to the ‘Swabbing Box’ or a similar area that is quiet and as private as possible. You or the responsible person for the horse is required to stay with the horse and sign all the appropriate forms (the HSS will give these to you to sign on the day).

Who does the swabbing?

Only appropriately qualified personal will be testing the horses, this includes a Veterinarian, and an EA/FEI swabbing steward who will all be at the event.

Equestrian SA has an experienced team of qualified swabbing stewards. These stewards attend a number of events every year at which swabbing is to take place.

Horse Swabbing Stewards are responsible for:

Checking all the appropriate forms are signed, sighted and completed properly; sending the samples; and staying with the horse at all times once the rider/owner or representative has been notified that swabbing is to take place. 

What happens if my horse returns a positive sample?

Upon receipt of a positive result from an “A Sample” the laboratory will notify the CEO of the EA National Body for non-FEI events. EA shall conduct a review to determine whether:

  • an applicable *ETUE has been granted, or
  • any apparent departure from the testing procedure that undermine the validity of the positive result.

Reporting of a positive sample result for FEI events is made directly to the FEI.

*ETUE is the Equine Therapeutic Use Exemption. This is the authorisation to compete when a prohibited substance or prohibited method has been administered or used for legitimate therapeutic purposes in a horse, as provided for in the FEI Veterinary Regulations through the use of an applicable medication form as therein specified.

The EA shall promptly notify the Person Responsible of; The Adverse Analytical Finding (positive swab);  of the rule that has been violated; the right to request the analysis of the “B-Sample”; the right to be present at the identification and opening of the “B-Sample”; the right to request copies of the A & B sample laboratory reports; the Option to waive certain rights by accepting an administrative penalty

If “B-Sample” proves negative, the entire test will be considered negative

What are the penalties for the use of prohibited drugs?

Automatic Disqualification

A violation of the any of the Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Rules (EADMC Rules) in connection with an In-Competition test at a given Event Automatically leads to the Disqualification of all results, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes


Penalties for Doping Prohibited Substances and Methods:

First Violation: Two (2) years Ineligibility; A Fine of $15,000 unless fairness dictates otherwise, and appropriate legal costs.

Multiple Violations: As set forth in Article 10.7 of the Equestrian Australia Equine Anti-Doping & Controlled Medication Regulations which can be found on the National website under Policies and Bylaws, Doping/Medical policies CLICK HERE

EA National Medication Control

EA Policies and Bylaws:

FEI Clean Sport Prohibited Substances Database: (The purpose of this database is to help you identify which substances are prohibited under FEI regulations)