The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced that the sport's enhanced, zero-tolerance policy regarding the use of anabolic steroids is on course for implementation from Monday 2 March.
Confirmation of a March start date follows clarification and consensus being reached with the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), National Trainers Federation (NTF) and Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (TBA) on certain elements relating to the revised policy. These issues included the definition of “responsible person”, i.e. the individual with the responsibility for ensuring that a horse is not administered with an anabolic steroid, and led to a short delay in the policy's introduction from January to March.
Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for the BHA, said:
“The implementation of an entirely new and far reaching set of anti-doping Rules has been a complex process. We thank the ROA, NTF and TBA for their input throughout this process and their support for the principles behind the enhanced policy and the decision to delay the implementation."
“We are naturally pleased to have reached consensus with all parties regarding the outstanding issues and, while it was disappointing not to implement the policy on 1 January, it was certainly the right decision not to rush the introduction of the Rules until consensus was reached.”
The policy, first announced in June 2014, has the objective of ensuring that British Racing remains at the forefront of tackling an issue that ranks amongst the biggest threats faced by all international sports. Key pillars in the policy include: that a racehorse must never be administered with an anabolic steroid at any time from birth to retirement; greater powers for the BHA in terms of access for testing registered horses; the requirement for horses to be registered from a younger age and for the BHA to be aware of their whereabouts at all times; a more stringent 14 months stand-down period for horses found to have been administered with anabolic steroids; and greater controls on horses running in Great Britain from international jurisdictions.
More details regarding the implementation of the new Rules will be published in due course – ahead of the implementation date – and will include guidance to affected parties regarding how to ensure adherence to the new Rules.