Prohibited Substances

The Emirates Racing Authority (the "ERA")

All race meetings in the UAE held under the sanction of the ERA, including the Dubai International Racing Carnival, the Dubai World Cup and its supporting races, are subject to the ERA's Rules of Racing and Instructions in force from time to time (the "Rules"). The Rules are available from the ERA and may be downloaded from the ERA website at

All participants in races do so subject to, and take full responsibility for their compliance with, the Rules which contain, amongst other things, provisions relating to Prohibited Substances, the disqualification of horses that have been found to have received them and the punishment of those who administer them.

Prohibited substances

Instruction number 9 in the Rules comprises a non exclusive list of Prohibited Substances as follows:

  • Substances acting on the blood system
  • Substances acting on the cardiovascular system
  • Substances acting on the digestive system
  • Substances acting on the endocrine system; endocrine secretions and their synthetic counterparts
  • Substances acting on the immune system (other than those in licensed vaccines)
  • Substances acting on the musculoskeletal system
  • Substances acting on the nervous system
  • Substances acting on the reproductive system
  • Substances acting on the respiratory system
  • Substances acting on the urinary system

And shall include, but are not limited to:

  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-pyretics, analgesics and anti-inflammatory substances
  • Cytoxic Substances
  • Diuretics
  • Local anesthetics
  • Masking Agents
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Respiratory stimulants
  • Sex hormones, anabolic agents and corticosteroids
  • Substances affecting blood coagulation

Notes on Prohibited Substances:

  1. Horsemen should be aware of the unpredictable and prolonged excretion times of certain Prohibited Substances, such as long-acting anabolic steroids (e.g. Boldenone), long-acting corticosteroids (e.g. methylprednisolone) and procaine from the use of procaine penicillin. It is strongly recommended that trainers utilise the pre-race elective sampling program to determine the suitability to race of horses that have been administered any of these substances - see section 4 below.

  2. Trainers and veterinarians should also be aware that the detection times of many medications can be prolonged and are unpredictable when medications are administered concomitantly (for example, phenylbutazone and flunixin) or given for an extended time. Detection times may also be prolonged by many factors including, but not limited to: dose rate, drug preparation, route of administration, training status and health status of the horse.

  3. There is evidence that a number of drugs, (such as dipyrone and flunixin) that are excreted in the horse’s urine, can be recycled if the horse eats its bedding (particularly straw).

  4. Herbal remedies and medicines, including those obtained over-the-counter, may contain Prohibited Substances. Trainers are strongly advised to avoid their use because the constituents of many of these preparations are unlisted or unknown. Examples of preparations that should be avoided include guarana, kava and valerian.

  5. Erythropoietin (EPO) is a Prohibited Substance and it is the view of the ERA that there is no legitimate place for the use of EPO in racehorses that are in work and racing. Whilst EPO is unlikely to assist performance in racing animals human recombinant EPO preparations have been shown to cause adverse side effects in horses. Industry participants are warned that EPO is only available for clinical use in humans on special authority and that the supply and sale by unauthorised persons is illegal.

  6. Trainers are reminded that it is an offence to bring onto a racecourse where a meeting is being conducted, any Prohibited Substance or any instrument that could be used to administer a Prohibited Substance to a horse. This includes, but is not limited to, rubbing alcohol, medicated shampoos, liniments, syringes, needles or oral dosing devices.