Friday, 23 August 2019 14:06

Frequently Asked Questions - Changes to Drug and Alcohol Policy

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Why has the Policy been changed?

Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) is committed to the safety, wellbeing and dignity of its Persons, racing participants and to the welfare of its Persons, as well as, by extension, the horse racing industry and the public. With Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act that took effect October 2018 Cannabis needed to be made to remove from the illicit drugs rule. As well as acknowledgement that drug and alcohol dependencies are medically recognized disabilities under human rights law. Therefore, HRA acknowledges that drug and alcohol dependencies are protected under the ground of mental and physical disability under the Alberta Human Rights Act.

When does the Policy go into effective?

The Drug and Alcohol Policy will take effective September 1st, 2019.

What method of testing will be used?

Oral Fluid Testing

Some advantages of Oral Fluid:

  • Results in minutes
  • Less invasive: no dignity or gender issues
  • Screens for recent vs. historical use

When will the testing be done?

Jockey and Drivers may be required to submit to an Alcohol and/or a Drug test before each race day.

Testing may also be required if reasonable suspicion that a Person is not Fit for Duty when they report to work, if a Person is involved in a Significant Incident or Near miss and/or may be required to submit to a Drug and Alcohol test pursuant to the terms of a Reinstatement Monitoring Agreement.

What are the fines?

Please refer the Sanctions section of the Drug and Alcohol Policy.

Who should I ask if I have questions about the Policy?

Any questions regarding the Drug and Alcohol Policy, you can contact:

  • Mr. Doug Fenske Racing, Supervision & Security at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What if I have a prescription?

Please refer to Exceptions section in the Drug and Alcohol Policy regarding persons with a prescription.

How long does the screening test take?

The screening test from start to finish should take between 10-15 minutes.

How long will I have to wait for a confirmation test to be determined?

If a confirmation test is required, typically it will take between 5-10 business days.

How are Oral Fluid Concentration limits defined?

HRA concentration limits are based on the Canadian Model for Providing a Safe Workplace concentration limits. These limits are set to a reasonable standard to ensure persons are safe and fit for duty.

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