How does hair testing compare to blood testing of racehorses to detect performance-enhancing drugs in terms of accuracy – and is coming to Canada? These are the questions posed in this Canadian Thoroughbred article.
According to Carolyn Cooper, the director of the Equine Drug Control Program for the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, while hair testing could be another useful tool to catch drug cheats, the method has some limitations compared to blood and urine testing. “Hair testing will not provide any answers regarding whether or not the product was in the system at the time of the race. It will give you an idea whether or not the horse may or may not have been exposed to that product at some point … [hair testing is] not the most useful testing methodology when we have blood and urine samples that can be taken immediately after the race where we can detect the drug directly.”