Thoroughbred Sales Companies Amend Anabolic Steroid Policy

Thoroughbred Sales Companies Amend Anabolic Steroid Policy

At all three auction companies, buyers of young horses can request testing for steroids; if the sale horse tests positive, the buyers has the right, within 24 hours of notification, to rescind the sale.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Officials from Keeneland Association, Fasig-Tipton Company, and Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company (OBS) have jointly announced that they have amended the anabolic androgenic steroid policy to delete the “45-day” rule regarding the use of steroids in weanlings, yearlings, and 2-year-olds at any time prior to sale.

The revised conditions of sale become will take effect July 1.

Under the previous language, consignors warranted that any weanling, yearling, or 2-year-old entered in a sale had not been administered any anabolic androgenic steroids within 45 days of the date of sale.

At all three auction companies, buyers of young horses can request testing for steroids, which is performed at the time of purchase. If the sale horse tests positive, the buyers has the right, within 24 hours of notification, to rescind the sale.

“This is an integrity issue,” said Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey G. Russell, Fasig-Tipton President Boyd T. Browning, Jr., and OBS President Tom Ventura in a joint statement. “We all agree this amendment is a necessary change to strengthen buyer confidence and to safeguard the credibility of the entire Thoroughbred auction process. We are adapting our policy to reflect the developing testing science currently available to us.”

In summary, the policy is implemented as follows:

  • The buyer has the right to request, at the time of purchase, that blood be drawn from a horse to test for the presence of anabolic androgenic steroids;
  • The respective sale company will coordinate testing with a designated laboratory and report the results of those tests to the consignor and buyer in a timely manner;
  • If the sale horse tests positive for anabolic androgenic steroids, the buyer has the right, within 24 hours of notification, to rescind the sale and return the horse to the consignor; and
  • The buyer will bear the $500 cost of the test; however, if the test results are positive, the cost will shift to the consignor.
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