BHA Looks Ahead to IFHA Debate on Anabolic Steroids

The BHA supports the introduction of a minimum standard for anabolic steroid across racing nations.
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Paul Bittar, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), outlined his hopes yesterday (Oct. 3) ahead of the sessions at the forthcoming International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) Conference, when the subject of the use of anabolic steroids in racing will be considered. The conference will take place Oct. 7-8 in Paris, France.

Bittar expressed support for the introduction of a minimum standard across racing nations and British Racing’s commitment to exceeding that minimum standard wherever possible.

In May the BHA wrote to the IFHA seeking their support for the promotion of international harmonization amongst all racing nations regarding anabolic steroids. The existence of inconsistencies among racing authorities had been highlighted following the BHA’s finding of prohibited substances in horses trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni and the subsequent eight-year ban issued to the trainer.

“The BHA strongly believes that there is a need to establish a minimum international standard relating to the use of anabolic steroids in horseracing and we welcome the opportunity for this to be discussed in detail amongst major racing nations," Bittar said. “With horseracing subject to increasing levels of international competition, it is in the interests of the sport globally to develop a position which provides a level playing field for all participants. Announcements regarding changes by the authorities in Dubai and, more recently, Australia and New Zealand are welcome and have added momentum to the debate

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