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Any Veterinarian working with horses has responsibilities that are considerable and varied. Often these are key to ensuring the goals of Clean Sport. Owners, athletes, officials, organisers, managers and coaches seek veterinary advice for both the prevention and the treatment of a variety of possible problems encountered in many types of horses. Advice is often required on treating horses, both in or out of training for competition, ensuring their welfare is maintained at all times.

Your important role is to give advice and treatments that take into consideration the welfare of the horse and whether it is fit to compete, or should be withdrawn. If medication is required, then you must be able to seek out the appropriate sources of information to give appropriate advice on not causing a positive test at the time of competition, and ensuring fair play. Some pharmaceutical substances available should never be used in a horse.

Just like the World Anti-Doping Agency for humans (WADA), the FEI has a Prohibited List of what substances will test positive for "doping" under FEI rules. The FEI gives you the guidelines needed to ensure that those you advise are not guilty of "doping" because of your advice. Commonly used medications are also included. Detection times—the time when some of these commonly used medication substances are no longer detectable in the horse's system—have been established so that if you ever need them in treatments, you know when that treatment must be stopped. They can be found in the Download Centre under "FEI List of Detection Times". Using this information is the best way of limiting any possible risk of a horse testing positive. You will need to decide on what extra safety or withdrawal time is required as well.

If the horse is not fit enough to compete, then medications should never be used to ensure it enters an event regardless. This is not good for the welfare of the horse, risks the suspension of the person responsible for the horse, and will also damage your own reputation and judgment as a veterinarian.

If you are a veterinarian present at an FEI event, you will either be providing treatments or will be acting as a veterinary official for the FEI. The role of the treating veterinarian is that of supporting the horses competing within the FEI rules, and ensuring there is fair play. The role of the FEI veterinary official is to apply the FEI rules about the health and welfare of horses at events in a consistent manner that maintains a fair field of play.

Consistency of decisions and processes with what occurs at all other FEI events is very important. Make sure that you are familiar with the necessary FEI Veterinary Regulations, what the prohibited substances are, and the "FEI List of Detection Times" and the information it contains. Please check regularly to see if the relevant FEI policy has changed. Veterinarians must also attend the necessary courses to ensure that you are aware of what those rules and policies are.

Your position is an important one and if you believe you have a conflict of interest, you must be open about that and ensure that other FEI officials are part of any decision that may be of very great importance for an athlete. Everyone wants fairness and thoroughness for the benefit of the sport.

Your role as a Veterinarian is a vital one. Many people are relying on you to provide the best for the horse and to give sound advice and fair and consistent judgments about prohibited substances, equine welfare and practices.

There are many elements involved in Clean Sport. It isn't just a new list of prohibited substances and a new rulebook. Integrity and good judgment are also key components and there are many other important ingredients. It's all one package and the success of it depends on everyone playing their part.

Clean Sport is everyone’s responsibility. It’s about fair play. It’s about horse welfare. It’s about best practice. It is Clean Sport. Play your part.

Please familiarise yourselves with the content of this website and visit it regularly for updates. If you need more information or guidance, please email us on or telephone FEI headquarters on +4121-3104747.