A group of prominent organizations involved in Thoroughbred breeding, racing and sales in North America today issued a statement in reaction to the British Horseracing Authority’s enhanced Equine Anti-Doping Rules, which were published earlier today after an extensive period of development. The rules, which include a zero-tolerance approach to anabolic steroids, will be implemented March 2, 2015.
Details of the policy, the rules manual and the official guide can be found here: www.britishhorseracing.com/resource-centre/anti-doping-medication-control/equine-anti-doping-rules-and-guidance/.
The new policy states, in part, that a racehorse must not be administered an anabolic steroid at any point in its life and that any horse administered an anabolic steroid will face a mandatory stand-down period from training for 12 months and will be ineligible to start in any race in Great Britain for 14 months.
The North American group is composed of Barretts Sales, Breeders’ Cup Limited, Commercial Consignors and Breeders Association, Fasig-Tipton, Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, Keeneland Association, Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Inc., New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company, The Jockey Club, and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
The group expressed its reaction as follows:
“As a group, we are highly supportive of the aims of the BHA’s enhanced equine anti-doping rules. The global nature of Thoroughbred breeding, racing and sales relies heavily on international harmonization of rules, particularly in the area of medication, and these new rules move all of us further down that road.
“We also appreciate that the BHA has acknowledged some of the practical and logistical challenges of implementing these new rules. We trust that this recognition will yield an open and ongoing dialogue among our organizations, BHA officials and other constituencies. We look forward to the publication of critical information regarding testing protocols and the laboratories, in the United States and elsewhere, that have been accredited to conduct the tests.
“The BHA recognizes that, at present, there is no facility for trainers or owners to request sampling to provide assurance that a horse is clear before they take on or purchase a horse and has made implementation of such a system in the next few weeks a priority. The organization said it has also engaged in discussions with sales companies about ways to offer the purchaser greater assurances around the product they are buying and with yearling sales starting in three months, that is a very important issue.
“We should all also remember that Thoroughbred sales companies in the United States were the first ones to ban anabolic steroids and that racing commissions in our country have also adopted regulations that prohibit anabolic steroids.
“In short, the BHA’s new anti-doping rules bring further international harmonization to Thoroughbred racing and clearly demonstrate that Thoroughbred racing is following the lead of other international sports in reaffirming its commitment to the integrity of competition by banning steroid use.”