31 March 2014
On 1st May 2014, Harness Racing Australia (HRA) will introduce and implement new Australian Harness Racing Rules banning the use of anabolic steroids in Standardbred horses – with immediate effect.
A full copy of the relevant rules pertaining to the ban on anabolic steroids can be found at the end of this notice.
There are many implications arising from the introduction of these rules, and to assist studmasters, breeders, owners, trainers and veterinarians to comply with the new rules the following notice has been released.
Which steroids are banned under these rules?
The new rules ban the use of “anabolic androgenic steroids” in Standardbred horses at any time from birth until retirement.
“Anabolic androgenic steroids” include those that are currently registered in Australia by the APVMA for use in horses, such as boldenone, ethylestrenol (in Nitrotain), methandriol, nandrolone, stanozolol and testosterone.
Exogenous anabolic androgenic steroids that are banned also include but are not limited to those listed in the WADA prohibited list, such as 1-androstenediol; 1-androstenedione; bolandiol; bolasterone; boldione; calusterone; clostebol; danazol; dehydrochlormethyltestosterone; desoxymethyltestosterone; drostanolone; fluoxymesterone; formebolone; furazabol; gestrinone; 4-hydroxytestosterone; mestanolone; mesterolone; metenolone; methandienone; methasterone; methyldienolone; methyl-1-testosterone; methylnortestosterone; methyltestosterone; metribolone; mibolerone; 19-norandrostenedione; norboletone; norclostebol; norethandrolone; oxabolone; oxandrolone; oxymesterone; oxymetholone; prostanozol; quinbolone; stenbolone; 1-testosterone; tetrahydrogestrinone (THG); trenbolone; and other substances with a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s).
Endogenous anabolic androgenic steroids are also banned when administered exogenously, and include but are not limited to: androstenediol; androstenedione; dihydrotestosterone; prasterone (dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA); and testosterone; and their metabolites and isomers.
Altrenogest (in, for example, Regumate) is still permitted to be used in fillies and mares to regulate their oestrus cycle.
Which horses are affected by these rules?
The use of anabolic androgenic steroids will be banned in all Standardbred horses from birth until retirement as a racehorse. There are no therapeutic exemptions of any kind. The ban applies to all unregistered and registered Standardbred racehorses of any age. Standardbreds can be tested at any time and this includes yearlings and Standardbred horses when spelling, training and racing.
Can I have anabolic steroids present in my stables even when prescribed by a veterinarian?
No – the possession of any anabolic androgenic steroid, including oral paste preparations such as Nitrotain, at any premise used in relation to the training and racing of horses will be an offence under the new Rules. In some states and territories, it is already an offence under relevant legislation for a trainer to have in their possession an injectable anabolic steroid preparation.
Further, any person who either administers or attempts to administer an anabolic androgenic steroid to a Standardbred horse at any time commits an offence under these rules.
How will compliance with this ban be enforced by State Controlling Bodies?
Compliance with these rules will be enforced by State Controlling Bodies through regular stable inspections, inspections of medications and medication records, and regular out of competition testing of Standardbred horses, as well as through routine race day sampling.
Any registered Standardbred horse that tests positive at any time for a banned anabolic androgenic steroid will not be eligible to trial or race for 12 months from the date of collection of the sample.
Any unregistered horse that tests positive at any time for a banned anabolic androgenic steroid will not be eligible to trial or race for 12 months from the later of a) the date on which the horse, having been registered, is allowed to start in a race or b) the date of collection of the sample.
For further information please contact
Andrew Kelly, Chief Executive – 03 9227 3000