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For many years, the FEI has maintained a list of prohibited substances. The previous approach was to collectively describe categories and cocktails of prohibited substances and to name some examples without actually listing all of the substances prohibited by the regulations. This was a common approach taken by many bodies that regulate equestrian sports.

These regulations were reviewed and a new approach was decided upon at the 2009 General Assembly in Copenhagen. The intention is still the same—to ensure that horses do not have their performance enhanced by means of prohibited substances, which in turn, ensures fair play in competition and maintains the welfare of the horse.

The new prohibited substances list approach is comprehensive, with much more detail about which prohibited substances the FEI will test for. This approach allows athletes and their advisors to clearly identify substances they might normally use out of competition, but which are not allowed whilst competing. It also helps them identify those substances which are not acceptable for use in the horse at any time.

The ultimate goal of the new approach is to provide riders and veterinarians with as much clarity and fairness as possible.

The concept of one detailed List with everything spelled out closely mirrors the approach taken by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in regard to human athletes. The FEI believes this change is the best approach moving forward. Please check this website regularly to see if the Prohibited Substances List has been changed. After any change a notice period is given before the change comes into effect. After that sanctions for a positive detection will be applied.

The 2010 Equine Prohibited Substances List came into force on 5 April 2010. The substances on the Equine Prohibited List are subject to annual review by the FEI List Group; a team of experts representing all aspects of the equestrian sports industry including treating veterinarians, resarchers and laboratory directors. The 2011 Equine Prohibited Substances List was unanimously approved at the FEI General Assembly in November 2010. The 2011 List will come into effect on 4 April 2011.

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