Racing Victoria, BHA To Review Rules In Light Of Horse Steroid Scandal
Racing Victoria will push for a re-examination of the Australian rules allowing horses to be treated with anabolic steroids while "out of competition," according to Michael Lynch of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The push comes after the shock revelations in England that one of the world's biggest racing stables, Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin, "had been using steroids" to boost their gallopers' well-being and performance. Mahmood Al Zarooni, one of two Newmarket-based trainers working for the Emirati racing giant, "was banned for eight years at a disciplinary hearing held overnight Friday Australian time, effectively destroying his career." British racing has a zero tolerance policy to all drugs, but in Australia, "trainers are allowed to use steroids to help horses recover more quickly from their exertions or to enhance their wellbeing if they are spelling and not in training." They "are not allowed to race with steroids in their system." RV CEO Bernard Saundry said on Friday that "the alarming disclosures from Britain were a wake-up call for racing jurisdictions around the world." As a result, "RV would seek to reignite debate on whether allowing the use of steroids at any time was the right thing for the sport" (SMH, 4/27).
SEEKING CONSISTENCY: REUTERS reported British Horseracing Authority CEO Paul Bittar said on Friday that the doping incident is likely to prompt int'l racing authorities "to look at bringing consistency to the rules on using drugs." The rules "vary around the world." The raceday use of anti-bleeder medication Lasix in the U.S. "is also highly controversial in the sport" and last month the Breeders' Cup announced it was rescinding its plan to bar the use of it in all of its '13 races. Bittar said that "more action could follow." Bittar: "It is not correct to say that is the end of the matter, far from it. I would term it the end of the beginning, in a way "(REUTERS, 4/27).