• From January 2009 horses trained overseas must be declared as not been trained on non-therapeutic substances
• This will clarify that all overseas runners are subject to the rules already in place for European-trained horses
The British Horseracing Authority has announced that, from 1st January 2009, overseas trainers will have to declare that their horses have not been trained on non-therapeutic substances or face a ban from running in British races.
British Horseracing has always had the policy of drug free racing, including no use of prohibited substances, and not allowing any medicines, on racedays. In training we only permit therapeutic agents that must only be given in the best health and welfare interests of the horse. We prohibit the use of performance enhancing drugs. This includes any use of anabolic agents to increase muscle mass, such as certain types of steroid drugs, and the use of drugs for a ‘partitioning’ effect to increase muscle and reduce fat, such as seen in the misuse of bronchodilator drugs.
This approach to drug use in training is harmonised across Europe and is similar to many, but not all, racing nations. To make our requirements explicit we will be requiring a declaration from trainers of horses from outside Europe that they do not train on non-therapeutic substances
Full details of the Rule changes will be finalised by the Authority after consultation both at home and overseas and will be implemented from 1st January 2009.
Tim Morris, Director of Equine Science and Welfare, said:
“We need to make it abundantly clear that racing in Britain is both fair and safe. There needs to be a level playing field for all trainers and owners and at the same time the welfare of the horse needs to be protected. Horses should only ever get the medication they need for treatment and be drug free on racedays.
“We will require a declaration from trainers of horses from outside Europe that they do not train, and have not ever trained, on non-therapeutic substances, and in particular on anabolic and partitioning agents. All such horses are already tested before racing and we may also consider home country testing in cooperation with other racing authorities. Other checks will be made to ensure we are aware of all imported and visiting horses.
“We wholeheartedly support international competition and welcome the move in the US towards a harmonised model rule on the use of anabolic agents. Such converging approaches can only benefit all racing.”
Trainer and Veterinary Surgeon Mark Johnston, said:
“All we are looking for is a level playing field and this is a big step in the right direction”
President of the British Equine Veterinary Association David Dugdale, said:
“We welcome this initiative. Anabolic steroids should not be used as an aid to training, and only be used outside training when prescribed by a veterinary surgeon for specific clinical situations
For more information please contact Tim Morris, Director of Equine Science and Welfare, through the Press Office, on 020 7189 3866.
21st July 2008
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
The Rules of Racing have always made it clear that in training all treatments must be given in the best health and welfare interests of the horse.