The Drug Analysis Department consists of 2 different sections, namely Drug Analysis Section and Research Section. The Drug Analysis Section mainly provides analytical testing services for the analysis of equine biological samples (including urine, blood and hair) from the horse racing conducted by the Japan Racing Association (JRA) and by local governments on the prefectural and municipal levels (i.e., the National Association of Racing (NAR)) to ensure the integrity and fairness of horse racing in Japan. Apart from the domestic samples, various types of external samples are also analysed.
The Research Section mainly focuses on the development and validation of new test methods for new doping agents and the streamlining and refining of existing test methods. In addition, it will also perform necessary research work such as drug administration studies in relation to therapeutic medications and potential drugs of abuse to study their pharmacokinetics and metabolisms in horses.
The Drug Analysis Department has been accredited to the international standard ISO/IEC 17025 (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories) since 2004 and is currently accredited to its latest version of 2017. It was recently reassessed by the local accreditation body Japan Accreditation Board (JAB) in March 2020 and no nonconformity in both quality management system and technical competence was identified. Apart from the JAB, all the accredited test methods must have been reviewed and approved by a local advisory board comprised of a group of experienced professionals including current and former professors of various disciplines (covering the areas of analytical chemistry, veterinary pharmacology, toxicology and biochemistry, and human sport medicine) before implementation. In addition, LRC has participated in the AQAP Negative Sample Exchange Programme to exchange negative post-race urine samples with other international racing laboratories. No sample from LRC was found to contain any prohibited substances by other racing laboratories so far.
analysis in body
fluids and hair
The Drug Analysis Department is equipped with state-of-the art testing facilities (infrastructure, analytical equipment and instruments, etc.) with a relatively large number of sophisticated mass spectrometers including LC-HRMS (Orbitrap), LC-MS/MS, ICP-MS, GC-MS/MS and GC-MS. It conducts doping control testing for a total of around 45,000 domestic post-race urine and blood samples, 7,000 out-of-competition samples, 800 feed samples and miscellaneous samples every year. In addition, LRC also participated in the annual AORC Proficiency Testing (PT) programme. LRC could successfully identify all the prohibited substances in the PT samples (including equine urine, plasma and hair) and has attained full marks in the past 5 years. Further, LRC is one of the Official Racing Laboratories approved by Racing Australia for reserve portion / B sample analysis and one of the Approved Referee Laboratories by Malayan Racing Association for performing referee analysis, indicating that our testing capability has been internationally recognized.