The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that it will launch a full review into horse racing’s anti-doping regulations.
The decision comes after the sport was marred by a couple of highly publicised cases, subsequently the BHA has opted to enforce a complete review into the current regulations, which were originally enforced last year.
Two of the cases that arose attention around racing’s anti-doping rules involved trainers Philip Hobbs and Hughie Morrison, who in 2017 avoided punishment from a disciplinary panel following Keep Moving’s positive test for the antihistamine cetirizine earlier in the year. Following on from this, Morrison also avoided a lengthy ban after his horse Our Little Sister had tested positive for an anabolic steroid.
BHA chief executive Nick Rust commented on the decision to review regulations: “Leading trainers and the NTF have frequently repeated their support for zero-tolerance of prohibited at all times substances. The BHA agrees that this is the right approach to adopt if racing is to maintain credibility with the betting and viewing public and ensure a level playing field for participants.
“We need to ensure that our rules are clear about what zero-tolerance means for the obligations on those responsible for horses and the penalties when the rules are broken.
“We want our rules to be fair to all concerned, from trainers who have done nothing wrong through to the punters who need to have confidence that racing is clean.”
He added: “We need to make sure that there is an appropriate deterrent for those who might consider cheating, so that we can protect the interests of their fellow participants – trainers, owners and riders – and the betting public.
“We welcome the contribution to the sport from our independent panels and the impartial scrutiny they have brought to the sport’s rules and disciplinary processes. We believe the panel’s decisions will help racing clarify and improve our anti-doping rules.”
Rust concluded: “It is important for our participants and for our investigative and disciplinary processes that there should be clarity to these rules and consistency to the penalties applied.”