Racing: Club's plans for switch in drug testing under fire

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The Independent Online

The jockey club has come under fire from Richard Callicott, the chief executive of the government-sponsored agency UK Sport, over the Club's decision to switch the drug testing of jockeys from that organisation to Medscreen Ltd.

"We can't stop the Jockey Club from doing this," Callicott said, "but by opting out of internationally-agreed testing standards the organisation is laying itself open to accusations of being no longer publicly accountable in this key area."

The Jockey Club announced on Monday an expanded programme of testing, including breathalysers, and hopes Medscreen will provide more target testing to ensure all riders are the subject of regular checks.

"Jockeys should be treated the same as other sportsmen," Callicott said. "They need to sustain high levels of strength and stamina. We believe they should be tested for every substance on the IOC's prohibited list."

John Maxse, the Club's spokesman, said: "We were aware of the implications of moving away from UK Sport and we intend to maintain accountability of our testing by publishing Medscreen's results."