March 24, 2017 – After consulting the horse racing participants and researching best practices in other jurisdictions, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is pleased to advise you that revisions have been made to the Standardbred and Thoroughbred Rules of Racing (the Rules) effective April 1, 2017 to reflect changes made to the Human Alcohol and Drug Program (The Program):

There are three main changes that have been made to the Program:

  • The AGCO has re-evaluated what is considered a safety-sensitive position and has established a protocol for determining what positions may be considered ‘safety sensitive’ in the future;
  • The AGCO has defined and clarified what is deemed a prohibited substance, including cannabis and cannabis products; and
  • Adoption of on-site screening for all prohibited and restricted drugs, not just alcohol, will take effect April 1, 2017.

A more detailed account of the Program changes can be found in the following Directives, located on the AGCO Web site at

The AGCO will continue to work with industry participants as the new program is implemented for the upcoming race season.

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