The Australian Racing Board announced a ban on anabolic steroids yesterday.
Under current rules, steroids are prohibited in horses only on race day but the new ban will apply to horses both in and out of competition from the age of six months, with that period allowed in the interests of animal welfare. The new rule will be introduced on 1 November, with the ban taking effect from 1 May next year to give any treated horses six months to be clear of the drugs.
“The ban goes far beyond any other racing jurisdiction outside of Europe,” said the ARB chief executive, Peter McGauran.
The announcement was welcomed by the British Horseracing Authority, which in the wake of the Mahmood al-Zarooni scandal has been vocal in opposing the use of steroids and has raised the issue for worldwide discussion.
“The decision represents a significant step towards our goal of seeing the use of anabolic steroids for racehorses banned across the globe,” said the BHA chief executive, Paul Bittar.