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United Arab Emirates looks at horse anti-doping laws

vetting-endurance-featuredThe United Arab Emirates (UAE) is considering new laws in a bid to end doping infractions in equestrian sports and horse racing, with fines of up to 500,000 emirati dirhams ($US136,000) and bans of up to three years.

The UAE has been under a cloud over worrying levels of fracture rates and the high number of doping infractions in recent years in the sport of endurance racing. There has also been growing concern over the more aggressive nature of the desert races when compared to what is now called the classic form of endurance.

The Emirates news agency, WAM, reports from Abu Dhabi that the Federal National Council has discussed a bill on prohibited substances in equine sports.

The 14-part bill is being considered by the committee on foreign affairs, petroleum, minerals, agriculture and fisheries.

The state-backed agency said the proposals were aimed at bringing an end to what it called malpractice, and to ensure fair play in competition and to maintain the welfare of horses.

The bill sets provisions for dealing with a list of prohibited substances in the UAE in line with international standards.

The law, if approved, would empower the competent authority to monitor the use and circulation of the drugs, set up laboratories for testing and analysing the materials, and to take legal action against offenders.

The bill would allow the use of the drugs only for veterinary treatment and would be acquired only after permission from the appropriate authorities.

Offenders will face a fine of between 20,000 and 100,000 ermirati dirhams ($US5450-$US27,225), and will be raised to 500,000 emirati dirhams ($US136,000) if the offence is committed again within three years.

An offender may be banned from races for up to three years and will have his licence revoked for the same period.

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