BHA officials look forward to discussion about anabolic steroids
Last Updated: 03/10/13 5:21pm
Paul Bittar: Wrote to the IFHA
British Horseracing Authority officials are looking forward to an in-depth discussion on the subject of anabolic steroids as they continue to forward their case for an international harmonisation of the rules at next week's meeting of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in Paris.
BHA chief executive Paul Bittar wrote to the IFHA following the Mahmood Al Zarooni scandal asking for support from all authorities to introduce a uniform rule regarding steroids and recent announcements from Australia and New Zealand have shown progress on the matter.
The conference will take place on Monday and Tuesday, with the steroid issue due to be discussed on Tuesday.
Bittar said: "The BHA strongly believes that there is a need to establish a minimum international standard relating to the use of anabolic steroids in horseracing and we welcome the opportunity for this to be discussed in detail amongst major racing nations.
"With horseracing subject to increasing levels of international competition, it is in the interests of the sport globally to develop a position which provides a level playing field for all participants.
"Announcements regarding changes by the authorities in Dubai and, more recently, Australia and New Zealand are welcome and have added momentum to the debate.
"The events of this year, together with the inconsistencies that exist across racing nations, have made it apparent that the control and regulation of the use of anabolic steroids in racing is a complex issue. Our initial objective is to support the IFHA in producing a minimum standard all racing authorities could sign up to."
Bittar also confirmed plans for the BHA to review their own rules on the subject and expects the current standards to be further augmented in the process.
"However, subsequent to the conference the BHA intends to continue work on establishing a revised position that is relevant for British racing and comprised of effective and enforceable measures," he said.
"It is anticipated that this position will exceed the minimum standard in several areas. Any amendments to our rules will provide for the implementation and enforcement of the minimum standard.
"We anticipate this process, including all necessary consultation, will be completed early in 2014."