The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced an amendment to the Rules of Racing which means that a trainer may 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 this week after consultation with the National Trainers Federation (NTF) and the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), 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. BHA also concluded that there was no evidence that the trainers concerned had acted in a manner prejudicial to horseracing.

Adam Brickell, Director of Integrity, Legal and Risk for BHA, said:

"The Sungate investigation highlighted a scenario which was not sufficiently or appropriately protected against by the Rules of Racing. 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."

The new Rule comes in to effect from 1 December 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.

Notes:

The prohibited substances which are covered by the revised Rule are as follows:


  • anabolic steroids,
  • peptide hormones or analogues, or
  • β2 adrenoceptor stimulants (except when prescribed by a Veterinary Surgeon),
  • oxygen carriers, or

• agents that directly or indirectly affect or manipulate gene expression.