Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announces the addition of Sweden to the list of racing nations whose runners in Britain will be treated, in terms of sampling procedures, the same as British-trained horses. The other countries that already form part of this group are Ireland, France and Germany due to key aspects of their anti-doping policies reflecting those of the BHA.
As part of the BHA’s revised equine anti-doping policy first announced in June 2014, it was confirmed that visiting runners from Ireland, France and Germany would be exempt from the requirement of being in Britain 10 business days in advance of their intended race in order to be sampled. Runners from these jurisdictions are instead treated akin to British runners and sampled as per the BHA’s standard testing policy.
Following confirmation that the rules of Svensk Galopp, Sweden’s horseracing regulatory body, together with Sweden’s national legislation, meet the BHA’s anti-doping requirements Sweden has been added to this list of exempt nations. Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for the BHA, said: “We are pleased to confirm that Sweden’s anti-doping rules meet the criteria required for exemption from Britain’s sampling procedures for foreign runners. The key considerations that underpin the decision are that in Swedish racing the use of anabolic steroids is not permitted under any circumstances, there is no therapeutic use exemption and horses are subject to testing from registration until retirement from racing. This includes out-of-competition testing regardless of the horse’s whereabouts.”
There is currently one Swedish-trained horse entered for Royal Ascot, Volatile, who is entered in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup, due to be run on Friday 19 June. The BHA is continuing to develop its protocol for sampling international runners from outside of Ireland, France, Germany and Sweden. The preference is for horses to be in Britain at least 10 business days in advance of running to facilitate sampling here, but the BHA has been working with connections, racecourses and the International Racing Bureau to facilitate approved sample collection overseas. In such circumstances, horses from abroad are being sampled on a case-by-case basis via a BHA-approved process.
Trainers outside of Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Sweden are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure the BHA is provided with sufficient notice so that their horse can be sampled and the results returned prior to the horse running. A horse will not be permitted to run in Britain until its sample has been given the all-clear.
Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for the BHA, added: “Our Equine Anti-Doping Rules have extended the responsibilities for connections of foreign runners in Britain to ensure that they comply with the policy. Trainers from outside of the exempt countries considering sending a horse to run in Britain are urged to contact the BHA in advance to organise sampling and the logistics of ensuring their runner arrives in Britain at least 10 working days before the intended run. Where this arrival time is not practicable the BHA will explore with trainers setting up BHA-approved sampling procedures outside of Britain.”
The agreement with Sweden also means that horses imported into Britain from Sweden, like those from Ireland, France and Germany, and which have spent 12 months under their equivalent policies are exempt from the requirement that they must be accompanied by a sample that shows no evidence of anabolic steroid presence or administration. These horses must still be registered with the General Stud Book at Weatherbys within three months of arrival.
• This media release was originally published on the BHA internet site on 12 May 2015. You can access the original by clicking here.
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