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Australia Announces Total Ban On Anabolic Steroids
The Australian Racing Board (ARB) yesterday announced a total ban on the use of anabolic steroids both in and out of competition with the new rule to take effect from 1st May, 2014. The current Australian policy only prohibits anabolic steroids in horses on race day but the scope of the new ban will be extended to apply to all thoroughbreds from the age of six months. In the interests of animal welfare, the first six months of a thoroughbred's life will not be subject to the ban. "The ban on anabolic steroids goes far beyond any other racing jurisdiction outside of Europe and was decided by the ARB Board after lengthy consideration of veterinary and scientific advice and consultation with trainers' and owners' associations," explained ARB chief executive Peter McGauran. "The ARB has adopted a zero tolerance policy to the use of anabolic steroids in competition, training and spelling and will institute heavy penalties for breaches of the ban. The ARB believes it is in the best interests of the industry that they no longer be available for any purpose other than as a therapeutic treatment for young foals." McGauren said a new Australian Rule of Racing will be introduced on the 1st of November with the ban taking effect six months thereafter to allow treated horses to clear their systems.