BHA Tightens Rules on Prohibited Substances

BHA Tightens Rules on Prohibited Substances

“Under the revised rules, if we have sufficient evidence that certain prohibited substances have been administered to horses in the care or control of a trainer, we are now in a position to take action,” Brickell said.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced an amendment to the rules of racing in which a trainer can be charged if certain prohibited substances are administered to horses in their care or control, without the requirement for a positive sample to have been obtained.

The amendment to the rules, which received approval from the BHA board last week after consultation with the National Trainers Federation and the Racehorse Owners Association, has been implemented following the investigation into the use of the veterinary product Sungate

During the investigation it became apparent that a prohibited substance, in this case an anabolic steroid contained in a veterinary product, had been administered to a number of horses. However, no charges could be brought owing to the fact that no positive samples were obtained. The BHA also concluded that there was no evidence that the trainers concerned had acted in a manner prejudicial to horseracing.

“The Sungate investigation highlighted a scenario which was not sufficiently or appropriately protected against by the Rules of Racing," said Adam Brickell, BHA director of integrity, legal, and risk. "The fact that charges could not be brought against trainers even though there was evidence that prohibited substances had been administered to horses in their care or control clearly needed to be addressed.

“Under the revised rules, if we have sufficient evidence that certain prohibited substances have been administered to horses in the care or control of a trainer, we are now in a position to take action,” he added.

The new rule comes in to effect Dec. 1, 2013. The tightened rule also provides for a horse to be disqualified from any race it participated in subsequent to the administration of certain prohibited substances without the need for an analytical sample.

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