NZTR approves ban on anabolic steroids
2 October 2013, 5:25 p.m.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has approved a ban on the use of anabolic steroids for horses both in and out of competition.
The new ban will apply to all thoroughbreds from the age of six months, with this period of permitted steroid use allowed only in the interests of animal welfare.
New Zealand’s current Rules of Racing prohibit anabolic steroids in horses only on race day, meaning the new ban will require an amendment to the rules.
It is expected the rule change will be implemented by December 1, 2013, with the ban effective from May 1, 2014. The prohibition will apply to any horse that comes within the legal jurisdiction of the New Zealand regulatory authorities to conduct out-of-competition testing.
NZTR Chief Executive Greg Purcell said a zero-tolerance approach would be taken on anabolic steroids.
“While the use of anabolic steroids has not been a major problem in New Zealand, it was important we take a clear and definitive position in the interests of integrity and public perceptions of thoroughbred racing in New Zealand.
“There’s no place for performance-enhancing drugs in our sport and this is testament to our commitment.”
In considering the ban NZTR consulted with its Veterinary Advisor, the Equine Veterinary Association, Trainers’ Association, Breeders’ Association, New Zealand Bloodstock, Harness Racing Trainers’ and Drivers, and Standardbred Breeders and taken into account that some countries will ban anabolic steroids from birth to retirement.
In mid-September the Australian Racing Board announced a ban on the use of anabolic steroids both in and out of competition. In line with New Zealand’s move, the ban will apply to all thoroughbreds from the age of six months with that period allowed in the interests of animal welfare.